More than 60 Organizations Call for Medicare Palliative Care Demo

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and congressional leaders have received letters with signatures from more than 60 health care and senior citizen advocacy groups calling for a demonstration to test a community-based palliative care benefit program within Medicare. Organizations such as the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), the National […]

Hospice Respite Care Relief Bill Introduced in the House

Reps. Troy Balderson (R-Ohio) and Donna Shalala (D-Fla.) introduced the COVID-19 Hospice Respite Care Relief Act for consideration by the U.S. House of Representatives. The U.S. Senate has been mulling similar legislation since early August.  If enacted the bill would allow hospice patients to receive respite care in their homes as opposed to an inpatient […]

CMS Geographic Designations Could Slash Payment for Some Hospice Providers

The final rule governing hospice payment from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services adopted a new method for defining different regions as rural or urban. This move could impact geographic adjustments to per diem amounts leading to payment reductions for some providers.  Effective at the start of the Fiscal Year in October, CMS […]

More COVID-19 Relief Funds Likely Coming to Hospices

The proposed HEALS Act currently before Congress would allocate an additional $25 billion to the Provider Relief Fund, a program that moves federal dollars to health care organizations struggling with the fallout of the pandemic, including hospices. The full price tag for the legislation could reach more than $1 trillion, though congressional negotiations are ongoing. […]

Forthcoming Legislation Seeks to Delay Medicare Advantage Hospice Carve-In

Legislation will likely be forthcoming in Congress this week or next to delay implementation of the value-based insurance design (VBID) model demonstration project, commonly called the Medicare Advantage hospice carve-in. If enacted, the bill would move the program’s start date to 2023.  Currently, the carve-in is slated to begin Jan. 1, 2021. While hospice industry […]

CMS Extends Medicare Care Choices Test for Hospices

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is extending the Medicare Care Choices Model by one year. The program is now expected to remain in effect until Dec. 31, 2021, meaning that providers can enroll eligible beneficiaries through June 30, 2021 and provide supportive services through the program’s scheduled end date. Through the […]

Exploring the Post-Pandemic Hospice Telehealth Landscape

While CMS has not announced any permanent policy changes, provisions to expand telehealth are likely to continue long-term, with many hospice leaders and advocates in full support. Hospices will have to work out several kinks as they navigate the telehealth landscape post-COVID-19. During this period of national disaster, the U.S. Department of Health and Human […]

Hospice of Medina County Closes Inpatient Unit, Reduces Staff

Cleveland, Ohio-based Hospice of the Western Reserve and its affiliate, Hospice of Medina County, have initiated staff layoffs and other cost cutting measures including the suspension of inpatient care at HMC’s Inpatient Care Center. The hospice cited increasing demand for hospice services, new regulatory requirements and declining Medicare reimbursements have led to reduced inpatient admissions. […]

Pandemic Hits Hospice Revenues

As the novel coronavirus pandemic continues disrupting the business of hospice, many providers anticipate a decrease in annual revenues for 2020, according to recent research by the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC). Among the contributing factors to revenue drops is a decline in hospice patient admissions and referrals amid the public health […]