House Ways & Means Starts Rural Health Task Force

The influential Ways and Means Committee within the U.S. House of Representatives has convened a Rural and Underserved Communities Health Task Force to consider health care delivery challenges in rural areas. The move comes as both chambers of Congress consider versions of legislation to expand hospice in rural locales.  The Rural Access to Hospice Act […]

Collaboration, Community Outreach Promote Hospice Growth

Collaboration with referral partners and community outreach have proven essential to hospice marketing efforts. As demand for hospice care grows, hospice providers in an increasingly competitive marketplace are working to bring a larger share of those patients under their wings. In addition to traditional methods such as territory management and improving call volume, many are […]

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 […]

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 & […]

Hospice, Palliative Care Education Bill Introduced in Senate

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) have introduced the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA) in the U.S. Senate. The legislation would provide resources to support clinician training to reduce staff shortages in the industry and help providers meet continuously rising demand for those services as the population ages.  […]

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. […]

OIG Reports Serious Patient Safety Events in 20% of Hospices

Failure to make home visits, failure to manage patients’ pain, and maggots infesting a patient’s feeding tube site are just a few of the safety deficiencies cited in a new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG). About 20% of hospices surveyed by regulators or accreditors […]

Experts Share Strategies to Reduce Hospice Medication Costs

Medications are a top expense for hospice providers, who are dependent on capitated per diem payments from Medicare. Hospices can’t increase the amount of their income per patient, so they must rely on creating efficiencies and effective cost management to raise their margins. In addition to medications themselves, hospices spend time, effort and money on […]

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 […]

Demographic Disparities Impact Patients, Limit Hospice Scale

Addressing demographic disparities in hospice utilization can ensure more patients receive quality care at the end-of-life as well as open untapped markets to hospice providers. Nearly 87% of Medicare decedents in 2016 were caucasian, according to the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). Comparatively, slightly more than 8% were African-American; 2.1% were Hispanic, and […]