Hospice Advocates Push for CMS to Delay Medicare Advantage Carve-In

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Association (NHPCO) has called on the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to delay the start of the Medicare Advantage hospice carve-in demonstration beyond its current expected state date of January 2021. CMS earlier this year announced that it would test coverage of hospice care through Medicare […]

Average Hospice Director Salary Up Nearly 2.3% 

Hospice directors on average saw their compensation bumped up close to 2.3% during the past year, with slightly smaller increases for nurses, aides and non-exempt employees, according to a new report published by the Hospital & Health Care Compensation Services in collaboration with the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC). Directors of hospice […]

CMS to Allow Hospices to Accept Medication Orders from Physician Assistants

In a new final rule, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will permit physician assistants to send medication orders to hospices. Previously, only orders from physicians or nurse practitioners were acceptable. The rule becomes effective Jan. 1., 2020. Hospices can accept the orders from physician assistants as long as the PA is […]

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 […]

Hospice Industry Seeks Solutions to Issues in OIG Reports

Debate continues about how the hospice industry, as well as regulators, should respond to the reports on hospice care issued in July by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG) that included recommendations to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on changing their processes for […]

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 […]