CMS Narrows Hospice QAPI, Waives COVID-19 Testing Rule

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is allowing hospices to narrow the scope of their required Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) programs during the pandemic to focus on infection control and adverse events. The agency will also allow any health care professional who is authorized by state law to order a […]

CMS Ends Accelerated Payments To Hospice, Other Providers

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has ended its accelerated and advance payment program for all Medicare Part A and Part B providers and suppliers. The agency had implemented the program on March 28 in an effort to counter widespread disruption in the health care space due to the ongoing pandemic.  Part […]

Feds Release $20 Billion in CARES Act Funds, Hospice Portion Unclear

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) is distributing an additional $20 billion in funds from the CARES Act intended to help health care providers who have been financially clobbered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The proportion of this installment of funds that would go to hospices is unknown.  The CARES Act, enacted on […]

Hospices Can Use Telehealth Across All Professional Disciplines

While some hospice care definitely requires in-person visits, providers are able to involve telehealth in the full scope of interdisciplinary services during the novel coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS) indicated in a conference call. The agency clarified that social workers, chaplains, nurses, physicians and members of other disciplines involved in […]

CMS Finalizes Hospice Capitation Rates for Medicare Advantage Plans

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has revealed the final payment capitation rates that indicate the amounts the agency will provide to Medicare Advantage plans to offer hospice coverage through the value-based insurance design demonstration project, commonly called the “carve-in.” The carve-in is slated to being Jan. 1, 2021. The announcement did […]

Calls Grow Louder to Delay Hospice Medicare Advantage Carve-In

Stakeholders in the hospice space are calling on the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)  to delay the inclusion of hospice in the agency’s value-based insurance design model, commonly called the Medicare Advantage hospice carve-in, on the grounds that providers will not be able to prepare due to the pressures brought on by […]

CMS: Care Planning, Hospice Aide Services Top Survey Deficiencies 

Issues related to care planning and hospice aide and homemaker services topped the list of most common deficiencies found during regulatory surveys during 2019, according to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  Nearly 60% of hospices surveyed did not successfully comply with the requirement that hospices must develop an individualized care plan […]

CMS Proposed 2021 Hospice Payment Rule: A Deeper Dive

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) recently proposed rule for 2021 hospice payment and Conditions of Participation contained no surprises, reflecting a business as usual approach that contrasts with the significant changes that were implemented for the 2020 fiscal year. The agency has called for a 2.6% payment increase for 2021 that […]

Hospices Encounter Barriers to Safe Opioid Disposal

A number of hospices nationwide are hitting barriers to effectively disposing of medications following a patient’s death while remaining in compliance with current law and regulation, according to a report released today by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Proper disposal of medications is a critical factor to preventing drug diversion. Drug diversion — the […]