MEDPAC Votes to Slash Hospice Aggregate Payment Cap

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MEDPAC) has voted unanimously to eliminate the update to the Fiscal Year 2021 Medicare base payment rates for hospice for Fiscal Year 2022 and to cut by 20% the hospice aggregate cap. The payment cap is the upper limit to the amount of funds a hospice can collect from Medicare […]

Hospices Prepare for COVID Vaccine Roll Out

With coronavirus vaccinations currently in the works, the federal government is developing a framework for equitable allocation. Hospices are among the providers waiting for access to a vaccine, with concerns mounting about availability, efficacy and distribution. These concerns are coming to the forefront as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has indicated […]

The Rising Tide of Pediatric Hospice, Palliative Care

Though seniors receive most of the hospice care in the United States, a rising number of hospice and palliative care providers are focusing more of their attention on a very different patient population: children with serious or terminal illness. More than 47% of hospice patients in 2017 were older than 85, according to the National […]

Hospice Providers to Receive Nearly $1 Billion in CARES Act Funds

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has begun distributing the first $30 billion installment of public health funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also called the CARES ACT. An estimated $1 billion is expected to go to hospice and palliative care providers via direct deposit. The CARES Act, enacted […]

Rising Employee Insurance Costs Due to COVID-19 Could Hit Hospices

Analysts project that employer health insurance costs could rise by as much as 12% during 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. A jump of that size could hit the hospice industry hard, with smaller, community-based organizations being most vulnerable.  The firm of Willis Towers Watson conducted an actuarial analysis of self-funded employers to […]

Hospices Seek Aid As Most CARES Act Funds Go to Hospitals

While the federal government is making billions of dollars available to health care providers through the CARES Act and other programs, the lion’s share of those funds and equipment is going to hospitals, often leaving providers in other settings out in the cold, including hospice.  Hospitals nationwide unquestionably are taking a tremendous hit due to the […]

Cyft Learning Collaborative Aims to Help Hospices Navigate Value-Based Payment Models

Massachusetts-based health care data analytics firm Cyft Inc. has established a nationwide effort to help health care organizations, and hospices in particular, learn to better collect, analyze and leverage data to support patient care and improve negotiating power with payers as well as referral partners. The Serious Illness Performance Collaborative is designed to educate providers […]

Hospices Leverage Acute Care Partnerships to Improve Access to Care

While staring down tighter reimbursements and intensified regulatory scrutiny, hospices are becoming interested in health care system integration because of improved access, collaboration, operational support, and financial stability. Hospices and hospitals are increasingly joining forces to provide goal concordant care, reduce costs and prevent readmissions, while supporting growth for the hospice. While most people wish […]

Bluegrass Care Navigators Unveils Integrative Medicine Program

Lexington, Ky.-based hospice provider Bluegrass Care Navigators has developed an integrative medicine program to help manage patients’ symptoms, such as pain and anxiety. Integrative medicine combines conventional medical care with complementary treatments such as bodywork or art and music therapy. The organization’s board of directors recommended the new service offerings at their recent meeting.  “We […]

Bluegrass Care Navigators Launches New Pediatric Palliative Care Service

Lexington, Ky.-based hospice provider Bluegrass Care Navigators has unveiled a new community-based pediatric palliative care program called Bright Path, offering specialized medical care for infants, children, adolescents and young adults suffering from serious illness.  Physicians, nurse practitioners, nurse coordinators, nurses, clinical social workers, and chaplains comprise the multidisciplinary team providing care through Bright Path. A […]