House Ways & Means Starts Rural Health Task Force

The influential Ways and Means Committee within the U.S. House of Representatives has convened a Rural and Underserved Communities Health Task Force to consider health care delivery challenges in rural areas. The move comes as both chambers of Congress consider versions of legislation to expand hospice in rural locales.  The Rural Access to Hospice Act […]

Accurate Cost Reporting Key for Hospice Reimbursement

As hospice providers await the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) final rule that will indicate payment rates and regulatory requirements for 2020, experts are warning hospices to make sure that they are submitting accurate cost reports to the agency. The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in late April released […]

OIG Calls for Stronger Oversight of Hospice

Two federal reports on hospice care in the United States could change the way regulators approach their enforcement activities. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released two documents last week discussing serious patient safety events in some hospices, including recommendations to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & […]

Hospice, Palliative Care Education Bill Introduced in Senate

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) have introduced the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA) in the U.S. Senate. The legislation would provide resources to support clinician training to reduce staff shortages in the industry and help providers meet continuously rising demand for those services as the population ages.  […]

Hospices: ‘OIG Report Does Not Reflect Our Industry’

Between 2012 and 2016, 20% of U.S. hospices experienced a condition-level finding from regulators that posed serious risks to patient life and safety, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG), but that proverbial coin has another side: 80% of hospices did not. […]

OIG Report Includes VITAS ‘Immediate Jeopardy’ Finding

VITAS Healthcare, the nation’s largest hospice provider and a subsidiary of Chemed Corp. (NYSE: CHE), received an “immediate jeopardy” finding from Missouri state surveyors for missing required home visits, insufficient wound care for a patient’s pressure ulcer, and failing to sufficiently manage patients’ pain, according to a state survey findings report obtained by Hospice News. […]

OIG Reports Serious Patient Safety Events in 20% of Hospices

Failure to make home visits, failure to manage patients’ pain, and maggots infesting a patient’s feeding tube site are just a few of the safety deficiencies cited in a new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG). About 20% of hospices surveyed by regulators or accreditors […]

Ohio SNFs No Longer Bill Room & Board for Hospice Patients

The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) now requires managed care plans in that state to make room and board payments directly to hospice providers whose patients reside at skilled nursing facilities (SNF). The rule became effective July 1.  ODM now requires the hospice to bill for room and board services provided at SNFs. The Buckeye […]

A Deeper Dive into Primary Care First, Where Hospice Fits

Though new payment models under the auspices of Medicare’s new Primary Care First initiative are designed for primary care providers, hospice and palliative care providers have a role to play. The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in April announced that they would implement Primary Care First in phases beginning in Jan. 2020, […]