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 […]

Hospices Lose Money Under 2020 Proposed Rule

Despite rate increases for some care levels, hospices would lose a dollar per patient, per day of routine home care under the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Fiscal Year 2020 proposed rule. The agency has proposed a 2.7 percent cut in payments to hospice providers for routine home care. Corresponding 2.7 percent […]

Rural Access to Hospice Bill Expected to Pass

First proposed in 2017, the Rural Access to Hospice Act is expected to pass the 116th Congress due to widespread bipartisan support, according to hospice policy advocates. U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), reintroduced the legislation last week. If enacted it would remove a statutory barrier in current law, allowing patients […]

‘Talking the Talk’: Advancing End-of-Life Conversations

Identifying patients in need of hospice earlier in the course of their illness is a business and moral imperative for hospice providers. Though conversations about end of life are difficult for everyone involved, including clinicians and social workers who facilitate them, they reap substantial benefits for patients, families, payers, and providers. Early conversations are positively […]

Hospice Volunteers Save Providers $469 Million Yearly

The nation’s 420,000 trained hospice volunteers generate more than $469 million in annual savings for hospice providers while administering and supporting essential services for patients, according to the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). Hospice volunteers provide more than 19 million hours of service annually. The estimated financial value of a hospice volunteer’s time […]

Early Hospice Admission Could Save Medicare $2.3 Billion

Enrolling patients in hospice earlier in the course of their terminal illness can reduce Medicare costs by $316 million to $2.43 billion, depending on length of stay and characteristics of the patient population, according to a recent policy brief from the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). About 60 percent of Medicare decedents stay […]