New CMOs for Hospice of the Chesapeake, Care Synergy; HopeWest Taps New VP

Hospice of the Chesapeake Appoints New CMO Maryland-based Hospice of the Chesapeake recently named Dr. Marny Fetzer as its new chief medical officer. Fetzer is currently system medical director for palliative care and hospice services at Illinois-based Ascension Health. She will step into the role at Hospice of the Chesapeake in July, alongside seeking a […]

Staff Poaching on Rise Amid Hospice Labor Shortage

As hospices continue to duke it out in the labor market, more providers are contending with competitors poaching their employees. A number of hospice leaders have told Hospice News that poaching is becoming a greater source of tension in the industry’s recruitment and retention ground war. This often comes with promises of higher wages, more […]

Rural Hospices, Patients Encounter Higher Needs, Fewer Options

Hospices that serve rural communities encounter unique challenges to bring care to a geographically dispersed population while contending with a smaller labor pool and higher costs for clinician travel. Demand for hospice and palliative care is rising in rural areas as the population ages with the rest of the country. But those patients often find […]

Hospices Brace for Medicare Sequestration, Return Could Be ​‘Devastating’ for Smaller Operators

Although 2% sounds like a small number, it can mean financial life or death for some hospices, particularly small community-based providers. These organizations are once again waiting to see if the federal government will extend the current moratorium on Medicare sequestration, uncertain about their programs’ sustainability without such relief. Established in 2014 by the Budget […]

Hospice Providers Press On with Staff Vaccines as Courts Ponder Mandates

As with the rest of the country, many hospice providers and their employees have mixed feelings about the federal vaccine mandates. Even those who welcomed the additional layer of protection for patients and staff are fretting about the possibility of losing workers. Recent court decisions on the interim emergency regulations have further muddied the waters. […]

Hospices Feel Strain of GIP Audits as Inpatient Care Days Dwindle

Hospice providers nationwide are reporting an increase in Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) audits pertaining to claims for general inpatient care (GIP) stays that are longer than seven days. These audits can be expensive and time consuming processes for hospices; some of whom say they fear that this practice will inhibit patient access to that level […]

PPE Shortages Remain a Top Concern for Hospice Providers

Health care organizations of all stripes have been struggling to obtain the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) to maintain continuity of care safely during the pandemic, and hospices have been no exception. Hospice providers of all walks have had varied experiences in PPE supply lines, with some having deeper pockets and greater access than others. […]

Hospices Desperate for Supplies As Pandemic Takes Heavy Toll

Hospice supply lines have been strained to the limit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as has the U.S. health care system at large. Providers of all types are reporting serious shortages of necessary materials, including essential personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent infections, such as masks, face shields and sterile gloves.  “This is really unprecedented […]

Regulators Work to Strengthen Hospice Oversight

Congress is moving to give the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) more authority to crack down on quality problems six months after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG) criticized the agency in two reports for not more closely enforcing hospice regulations. Meanwhile, CMS is […]

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 & […]