Hospice Providers Quickly Opening Inpatient Units for COVID-19 Patients

Hospices are adapting their inpatient facilities to care for COVID-19 patients as the number of people afflicted with the virus continues to swell. Though many, if not most, coronavirus patients receive care in their homes, in some instances the severity of symptoms necessitates inpatient care.  Georgia-based Hospice Savannah and some locations of the national chain […]

Vynca CEO: Advance Care Planning Critical During Pandemic 

Ryan Van Wert, M.D. is co-founder and CEO of Vynca, a technology company that offers solutions to health care organizations to support person-centered care by ensuring that patient preferences are captured, accessible and honored. In addition to his role at Vynca, Van Wert is a part-time clinical assistant professor at Stanford University. In observance of National […]

Calls Grow Louder to Delay Hospice Medicare Advantage Carve-In

Stakeholders in the hospice space are calling on the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)  to delay the inclusion of hospice in the agency’s value-based insurance design model, commonly called the Medicare Advantage hospice carve-in, on the grounds that providers will not be able to prepare due to the pressures brought on by […]

CMS Proposed 2021 Hospice Payment Rule: A Deeper Dive

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) recently proposed rule for 2021 hospice payment and Conditions of Participation contained no surprises, reflecting a business as usual approach that contrasts with the significant changes that were implemented for the 2020 fiscal year. The agency has called for a 2.6% payment increase for 2021 that […]

Hospices Face Ethical Dilemmas During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought on a number of unprecedented ethical questions as hospice and palliative care leaders work to continue providing crucial services to their most vulnerable patients, including the need to limit contact between staff and patients, drawing a line between safety and the traditional hospice care model. Honoring end-of-life goals while caring […]

CMS Relaxes Hospice Training Rules

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued additional 1135 waivers for hospice, pertaining to training requirements for hospice aides.  CMS can issue an 1135 waiver for health care organizations during a federally declared national emergency. These waivers temporarily suspend or modify Medicare Conditions of Participation (CoPs) and other requirements to allow […]

Hospice Providers to Receive Nearly $1 Billion in CARES Act Funds

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has begun distributing the first $30 billion installment of public health funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also called the CARES ACT. An estimated $1 billion is expected to go to hospice and palliative care providers via direct deposit. The CARES Act, enacted […]

Fourth COVID-19 Stimulus Bill May Be Coming, Hospices Need Further Aid

Federal lawmakers have been sparring this week over a potential fourth legislative package to bolster the economy and the health care system amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. Many in the hospice space have their fingers crossed that a bill will come together and bring further financial and regulatory relief.  The White House and congressional leaders […]

Advance Care Planning Remains a Priority During COVID-19

Despite the uncertainties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, advance care planning remains critical. With death tolls and confirmed cases rising, advance care planning is increasingly vital, particularly for high-risk patient populations receiving hospice and palliative care. Severe illness and possible death are among the risks posed by the novel coronavirus, according to the U.S. […]