Death Cafes Spur End-of-Life Care Conversations

Hospice providers nationwide are seeking and developing strategies for engaging with patients earlier in the course of their illness, as many patients come into hospice too late in the course of their disease to reap the full benefit of those services. One such strategy is to encourage early conversations about death, dying and associated health […]

Health Care Groups Urge Lawmakers to Relax Prior Authorization Rules

A group of 370 health care industry groups — including the American Academy of Hospice & Palliative Medicine, the American Medical Association and National Association of Social Workers — have signed a letter sent to Congress encouraging legislators to pass the Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act of 2019. If enacted, the legislation would […]

CMS Rule: Hospitals to Inform Patients of Post-Acute Quality Data

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published a final rule on hospital discharge planning that underscores the need for hospices to leverage their publicly reported quality metrics as a competitive advantage. The new rule requires hospitals to inform patients about their choices related to post-acute care providers including those organizations’ performance […]

CMS Final Rule Could Lead to More Hospice Audits

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its annual final rule for hospice payments in Fiscal Year 2020, including a payment rebasing that raises rates 2.7% for three higher-acuity levels of care and cuts routine home care by a corresponding 2.7%. With regulatory scrutiny on the rise, some hospice providers are concerned […]

CMS Final Rule Rebases Payment Rates, Changes Election Statement

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has rebased payment rates for the four levels of hospice care in a final rule for Fiscal Year 2020. Among other provisions the rule includes a new requirement that hospices provide an addendum to election statements that would detail care, treatment and services the patient would […]

Accurate Cost Reporting Key for Hospice Reimbursement

As hospice providers await the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) final rule that will indicate payment rates and regulatory requirements for 2020, experts are warning hospices to make sure that they are submitting accurate cost reports to the agency. The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in late April released […]

Hospice Leaders Question Value of Medicare Advantage Hospice Carve-In

Leaders from hospice organizations raised concerns about the forthcoming demonstration of a Medicare Advantage carve-in for hospice. The hospice executives spoke at the National Home Care & Hospice Association’s (NAHC) Financial Management Conference in Chicago. The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) earlier this year announced that it would test coverage of hospice […]

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 & […]

Hospices: ‘OIG Report Does Not Reflect Our Industry’

Between 2012 and 2016, 20% of U.S. hospices experienced a condition-level finding from regulators that posed serious risks to patient life and safety, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG), but that proverbial coin has another side: 80% of hospices did not. […]

Hospice Groups: CMS Should Reconsider Payment Rate Calculation Methods

The proposed Medicare reimbursement rate hikes for some levels of hospice care is a positive move, according to comments on the 2020 proposed rule submitted to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) by hospice industry organizations, but they also voiced concerns regarding how those rates are calculated as well as the potential […]