Early Hospice Admission Could Save Medicare $2.3 Billion

Enrolling patients in hospice earlier in the course of their terminal illness can reduce Medicare costs by $316 million to $2.43 billion, depending on length of stay and characteristics of the patient population, according to a recent policy brief from the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). About 60 percent of Medicare decedents stay […]

New Guidance for CMS Rules on Hospice, Home-Based Services

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will presume that private residences in which Medicaid recipients receive hospice care and certain other services are in compliance with regulatory criteria for home- and community-based settings. In a letter to state Medicaid directors CMS Administrator Seema Verma issued new regulatory guidance on how CMS will […]

Medicare Advantage Hospice Carve-In: The Bright Side

Despite the legitimate anxieties of many hospice providers about the Medicare Advantage carve-in demonstration in 2021, some have expressed cautious optimism. “The success of Medicare Advantage in achieving better health outcomes for American seniors and people with disabilities highlights the importance of an integrated system,” Allyson Schwartz, president and CEO of the Better Medicare Alliance […]

Questions Abound on Medicare Advantage Hospice Carve-In

Hospice providers have many questions and few answers related to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) demonstration of a hospice carve-in for Medicare Advantage plans. CMS earlier this year announced that it would test coverage of the hospice benefit through Medicare Advantage plans beginning in 2021. Through Medicare Advantage, CMS contracts with […]

MEDPAC: For-Profits Account for 100 Percent of New Hospices

For-profit providers are dominating the hospice market. The number of hospice providers in the United States during 2017 rose 2.4 percent, with for-profit providers representing 100 percent of the growth, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MEDPAC) annual report to Congress. That same year, the number of non-profit hospices declined 3.5 percent. Larger numbers […]

Hospices Alert to CMS New Immediate Jeopardy Protocols

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has significantly changed how the agency’s surveyors identify and analyze Immediate Jeopardy findings, applicable to hospice providers as well as all other health care services covered by Medicare or Medicaid. An Immediate Jeopardy finding represents a situation in which the health care provider’s noncompliance with one […]

White House Proposes Billions in Medicare & Medicaid Cuts

Today the White House proposed a 2020 federal budget that would slash Medicare spending by nearly $846 billion and Medicaid by $241 billion over 10 years, sparking concern among hospice organizations. “[The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization] is concerned the president’s proposed Medicare cuts could interrupt patient and family access to person-centered, interdisciplinary hospice […]

Hospice Providers Get a Head Start on Medicare Advantage

Hospice providers can now get a “sneak preview” as to how their organization can start working with Medicare Advantage plans by applying to participate in demonstration the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is offering for 2020. CMS has announced an array of Medicare advantage (MA) health plan innovations that will be tested […]

CMS Proposed Rules to Improve Health IT in Post-Acute Care

The US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Feb. 8 proposed rules designed to move the nation’s health care system—including hospices—closer to IT interoperability. The Interoperability and Patient Access Proposed Rule is designed to help health care providers, insurers, and other stakeholders make patient data more useful and transferable through open, secure, standardized, […]

CMS Releases Top Hospice Survey Deficiencies for 2018

The US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the top deficiencies identified during recertification surveys for hospices during 2018. As in previous years, problems with care planning topped the list. Hospices are required to ensure that the care and services they provide follow an individualized written care plan developed by the interdisciplinary […]