Hospices to Adapt to Primary Care Role Under Direct Contracting

Hospices nationwide have been diversifying their services in recent years to capitalize on value-based payment models and to establish relationships with patients further upstream in the course of their illnesses. An increasing number of hospice providers are offering PACE, home-based primary care, and palliative care, among others. These programs will be essential for those considering […]

Hospices See Big Opportunities in Direct Contracting, But Care Must Move Upstream

When the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in 2019 announced its Primary Care First Serious Illness Population model, many hospices saw the program as their greatest opportunity for successful participation in the agency’s alternative payment structures. While interest in the program remains high, many providers are shifting their gaze towards the direct […]

Hospices Step Up to Vaccinate Staff for COVID-19

Hospices are facing a flurry of challenges as the first wave of coronavirus vaccines rolls out across the United States. With distribution processes varying from state to state, hospices nationwide are implementing diverse methodologies as the impacts of COVID-19 vaccination processes reach into operations and bottom lines. Vaccinations began Dec. 14 across the country as […]

NPHI: Vaccine Roll Out Needs New Approach

Vaccine distribution to hospice and other health care providers has been lacking and stakeholders must take action to address supply chain problems, according to Tom Koutsoumpas, CEO of Capital Caring Health and the National Partnership for Hospice Innovation (NPHI). NPHI called on policymakers at the state and federal levels to address inconsistencies.  Three large drugmakers […]

Hospices Can Leverage Mental Health Care for Better Quality, Growth

Hospices are increasingly offering expanded behavioral health services to improve care for patients suffering with serious mental illnesses (SMIs) at the end of life. Rising demand for these services comes at a strenuous time for hospices amid shifting payment policies and a worldwide pandemic. Investing to expand mental health programming poses both challenging financial risks […]

Compassionate Care Act Introduced in Senate to Expand Advance Care Planning

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) has introduced the Compassionate Care Act in the U.S. Senate. If enacted the bill would significantly expand federal resources to support advance care planning and end-of-life care decision making. The legislation would also finance public awareness campaigns about hospice and palliative care. The Compassionate Care Act would establish a nationwide public […]

Hospices Hitting Barriers to Integrating Behavioral Health

Advocates have increasingly called for expanded resources to address mental health issues and substance use problems (SUPs) among hospice patients to improve delivery and quality of their care. However, limited research is available for hospice providers looking to integrate psychiatric or mental health services. An estimated 5 to 8 million older adults in the United […]

Hospices Refocus on Staff Mental Health During COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has elevated attention to the mental health needs of the hospice workforce. Hospice executives have increasingly focused on providing new avenues of support for staff as they are buffeted with waves of COVID-19 challenges while caring for high-risk patients and their families. Workforce shortages and staff burnout have been ongoing issues in […]

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 […]

[UPDATED] President Signs Stimulus Bill, Allowing Telehealth for Hospice Recertification

President Donald Trump has signed into law a $2 trillion economic stimulus bill in response to the COVID-19 national emergency. Among numerous other provisions, the massive bill will allow hospice providers to conduct face-to-face recertification visits via telehealth and suspend the practice of 2% sequestration of hospice payments by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & […]