Palliative Care Growth a 2020 Priority

The palliative care field can expect to see continued growth during 2020 despite the lack of a dedicated Medicare payment model, a continued need to raise public awareness, and ongoing staffing shortages.  About half of the community-based palliative care providers in the United States are hospices, according to recent research from the Center to Advance […]

CMS Accepting Applications for Medicare Advantage Hospice Carve-In

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a Request For Applications (RFAs) for Medicare Advantage plans to offer the Medicare Hospice benefit to their enrollees in the Medicare Advantage Value Based Insurance Design (VBID) Model. The long awaited and much debated Medicare Advantage hospice carve-in demonstration is set to begin Jan. […]

Looking Ahead: Hospice in 2020

The hospice space is evolving and providers will likely spend much of 2020 girding themselves for more change, including movement towards value-based payment models, accelerating industry consolidation, and possible changes to reimbursement, among others. At the forefront of many hospice leaders’ minds will be how they should gear up for the Medicare Advantage hospice carve-in […]

Bill Would Allow Hospice Recertification Via Telehealth

A bipartisan group of congressional legislators have introduced corresponding bills in the House and the Senate that would allow hospice physicians to re-certify patients via telehealth systems, among other provisions. Current Medicare Conditions of Participation require a hospice physician to meet with a patient face-to-face as part of the recertification process that initiates after the […]

CMS: Hospices Can Now Apply to Primary Care First

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has opened the online application period for the Primary Care First payment models. The agency announced the program in April and will implement the models in phases beginning in January 2021, initially in 26 regions throughout the United States. Hospices and palliative care organizations are eligible […]

Hospices Ready Themselves for the Medicare Advantage Carve-In

Though hospices remain in the dark about the inner workings of the forthcoming Medicare Advantage carve-in, some are using their knowledge and experience in working with payers to take the first steps toward implementation. The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) earlier this year announced that it would test coverage of hospice care […]

NPHI CEO: ‘Bring Our Care Model to Patients Pre-Hospice’

As President and CEO for the National Partnership for Hospice Innovation (NHPI), the question, “What’s New?” is an important one for Tom Koutsoumpas, who took the helm of the industry organization in 2015. NPHI is a coalition of non-profit hospices that collaborate on moving innovations forward, in terms of service diversification, discovering new payment models, […]

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 […]

CMS Rule Would Allow PAs to Serve as Attending Hospice Physicians

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has proposed a rule that would allow physician assistants (PAs) to serve as attending physicians for hospice patients. However, due to current regulatory restrictions the PA may not be an employee or contracted with the hospice.  If made final, the rule would allow PAs, acting within their […]

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. […]