Senate Votes to Extend Hospice Payment Sequestration Suspension

The U.S. Senate has voted to extend the moratorium on Medicare payment sequestration for hospice and other health care organizations through the end of the year. The Senate bill must now go to the House, which is unlikely to pass the legislation before the current expiration date of March 31. The Senate approved the bill […]

House Votes to Extend Sequestration Moratorium for Hospice, Other Providers

The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to extend the moratorium on Medicare payment sequestration through Dec. 31. The moratorium, established through the CARES Act, was set to expire March 31. The bill will now go to the Senate. In Dec. 2020 Reps. Brad Schneider (D-IL) and David McKinley (R-WV) introduced the Medicare Sequester COVID Moratorium […]

COVID-19 Stimulus Passes with Support for Rural Hospices, but No Additional PRF

The American Rescue Plan of 2021 has cleared its last congressional hurdle before going to President Biden for signature. The $1.9 trillion stimulus package contains $8.5 billion in aid targeted at rural providers, including hospices. However, the bill did not increase the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) or extend the moratorium on payment sequestration.  The U.S […]

Hospice Advocates: Extend Sequestration Moratorium

A number of health care industry organizations — including the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) — have written to congressional leaders requesting an extension of the temporary suspension of reimbursement sequestration. The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) suspended sequestration for […]

Patients Praise Medicare Advantage as Hospice Carve-In Takes Effect

Beneficiaries participating in Medicare Advantage give high ratings to the coverage and services they receive, with as many as 98% reporting satisfaction, according to a recent Better Medicare Alliance poll. This feedback comes shortly after the Jan. 1 inception of the value-based insurance design demonstration, often called the Medicare Advantage hospice carve-in. Payers and hospice […]

NAHC Analysis Shows Progress from Federal COVID Relief, but More Likely Needed

Programs established in the most recent COVID-19 relief legislation, passed in December, will go a long way to bolstering hospices that have taken operational and financial punches from the pandemic. A recent analysis from the National Association for Home Care & Hospice indicates that providers will likely need more support to ride out the continuing […]

Top Hospice Trends to Watch in 2021

The year 2020 brought unprecedented disruption to the hospice space, mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The outbreak strained providers ability to provide care, access patients in homes and facilities and to maintain a healthy bottom line in light of lost revenues and rising costs.  Despite these challenges and economic headwinds, hospices adapted, improvised and […]

Congress Members Call for Medicare Palliative Benefit

Members of the congressional physician’s caucus have written to U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma to advocate for a Medicare palliative care benefit demonstration. Reps. Neal Dunn, M.D (R-Fla), Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.), Jeff VanDrew (D-N.J.), and Sen.-Elect Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) signed the letter.  CMS tests the viability and functionality […]

Omnibus Federal Spending Bill Contains Major Hospice Provisions

After much debate, the U.S. Congress approved Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which will keep the government running and fund federal agencies into the new year. The bill, which the president is expected to sign, includes hospice-specific line items intended to improve rural access to services and retool regulatory enforcement, as well as provide COVID-19 […]

House Approves Bill to Update CMS Hospice Oversight

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Beneficiary Enrollment Notification and Eligibility Simplification Act of 2019 (BENES). While the main focus of that bill relates to Medicare eligibility and enrollment, it would also change the frequency of regulatory hospice surveys to every two years instead of every three years, among other provisions. The legislation […]