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 […]

House Bill Would Extend Hospice Payment Sequestration Moratorium

Reps. Brad Schneider (D-IL) and David McKinley (R-WV) have introduced the Medicare Sequester COVID Moratorium Act in the U.S. House of Representatives.  The bill would extend the temporary suspension of Medicare sequestration payment reductions for hospices for the duration of the federally declared COVID-19 public health emergency. The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) […]

Compassionate Care Act Introduced in Senate to Expand Advance Care Planning

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) has introduced the Compassionate Care Act in the U.S. Senate. If enacted the bill would significantly expand federal resources to support advance care planning and end-of-life care decision making. The legislation would also finance public awareness campaigns about hospice and palliative care. The Compassionate Care Act would establish a nationwide public […]

Hospices Prepare for COVID Vaccine Roll Out

With coronavirus vaccinations currently in the works, the federal government is developing a framework for equitable allocation. Hospices are among the providers waiting for access to a vaccine, with concerns mounting about availability, efficacy and distribution. These concerns are coming to the forefront as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has indicated […]

Palliative Care Innovation on the Horizon

Many hospices have honed in on community-based palliative care as essential to their growth and particularly to their success within value-based programs. Negotiating in a new payment arena will be key to developing a successful palliative care model as fragmented lines of care entwine. Palliative care has been expanding in the hospice space. Roughly half […]

COVID, MA Carve-In Can Complicate Hospice Revenue Cycle Management

Focusing on revenue cycle management will be critical as hospices step into Medicare Advantage in 2021 and face the threat of a new wave of COVID-19 cases. This new payment arena and a global pandemic have strained many hospices’ bottom lines during 2020, with providers increasingly furrowing their brows over the long-term impacts. A report […]