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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

CMS Proposed Rule Could Hurt Small Hospice Providers, Large Companies Unfazed 

National and regional hospice chains seem unfazed by proposed Medicare payment rebasing for fiscal year 2020—confident that the updates will not adversely affect their businesses—though smaller organizations may take a more significant hit. The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in late April released its annual proposed rule that outlines the agency’s regulatory […]

NPHI Innovation Lab to Support Hospice Service Diversification

As hospice providers nationwide seek to integrate new medical and non-medical offerings into their portfolios, the National Partnership for Hospice Innovation has developed a forum for nonprofit, community-based hospices to provide mutual support on service diversification. Dubbed the Innovation Lab, the program will study new approaches deployed by the partnership’s members to identify effective new […]