HOSPICE Act Would Increase Survey Frequency, Redesign Surveyor Training

Recently introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives calls for increasing the frequency of hospice compliance surveys to every two years as opposed to the current policy of every three years. Among other provisions, the bill would also take steps to improve surveyor education and training. Reps. Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) and Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) […]

Congress to Tackle Hospice Quality in New Legislation

Reps. Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.) and Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) have introduced bipartisan legislation designed to strengthen regulatory oversight of hospice providers in the wake of two July 2019 reports from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG). The reports garnered widespread media attention and elicited strong reactions from hospice organizations. […]

MedPAC: No 2021 Pay Raise for Hospice, Calls for Payment Cap Cut

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) at its January meeting unanimously voted to recommend to Congress that no Medicare payment increases for hospices be implemented in Fiscal Year 2021, as well as a 20% reduction in the aggregate payment cap. These proposals are not a done deal. Congress would have to accept these recommendations before […]

Palliative Care Growth a 2020 Priority

The palliative care field can expect to see continued growth during 2020 despite the lack of a dedicated Medicare payment model, a continued need to raise public awareness, and ongoing staffing shortages.  About half of the community-based palliative care providers in the United States are hospices, according to recent research from the Center to Advance […]

CMS Accepting Applications for Medicare Advantage Hospice Carve-In

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a Request For Applications (RFAs) for Medicare Advantage plans to offer the Medicare Hospice benefit to their enrollees in the Medicare Advantage Value Based Insurance Design (VBID) Model. The long awaited and much debated Medicare Advantage hospice carve-in demonstration is set to begin Jan. […]

Looking Ahead: Hospice in 2020

The hospice space is evolving and providers will likely spend much of 2020 girding themselves for more change, including movement towards value-based payment models, accelerating industry consolidation, and possible changes to reimbursement, among others. At the forefront of many hospice leaders’ minds will be how they should gear up for the Medicare Advantage hospice carve-in […]

Senators Introduce Bill on Hospice Quality, Transparency

U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) have introduced a new bill, the Hospice Care Improvement Act, in response to the July reports on hospice quality from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). If enacted, the legislation would implement new rules for oversight […]

CMS Outlines Patient On-boarding in New Serious Illness Payment Model

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has unveiled its process for identifying and on-boarding patients who are eligible for coverage under the Seriously Ill Population (SIP) payment model, part of the Primary Care First initiative. However, hospice organizations continue to seek additional answers about the workings of the model. CMS in April […]

Bill Would Allow Hospice Recertification Via Telehealth

A bipartisan group of congressional legislators have introduced corresponding bills in the House and the Senate that would allow hospice physicians to re-certify patients via telehealth systems, among other provisions. Current Medicare Conditions of Participation require a hospice physician to meet with a patient face-to-face as part of the recertification process that initiates after the […]

CMS: Hospices Can Now Apply to Primary Care First

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has opened the online application period for the Primary Care First payment models. The agency announced the program in April and will implement the models in phases beginning in January 2021, initially in 26 regions throughout the United States. Hospices and palliative care organizations are eligible […]