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 […]

New Senate Caucus to Focus on Palliative Care

A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators has launched a new caucus to focus on legislation and policy that impacts palliative care. The legislators said they expect the Comprehensive Care Caucus to raise awareness of palliative care, promote utilization, improve care coordination, support caregivers and expand access to palliative care services. Founding members of the Comprehensive […]

EHR Rule Could Preclude Hospices from Primary Care First

Requirements for electronic health record (EHR) interoperability could preclude some hospices from participating in Medicare’s Primary Care First payment models. The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requires health care organizations that participate in the model to use certified EHR technology (CEHRT). CEHRT are IT products that comply with criteria established by CMS […]

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 […]