CMS releases 2023 hospice proposed rule

Hospice providers will have to wait a little longer for the Hospice Outcomes Patient Evaluation (HOPE) tool, according to the proposed rule for the FY 2023 Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update and Hospice Quality Reporting Requirements.

The proposed rule was released on Wednesday, March 30, 2022, for public inspection and is expected to be published in the Federal Register on April 4, 2022.

CMS notes in the proposed rule that national beta testing for HOPE will continue through 2022. A multidisciplinary tool that provides ongoing assessments throughout the hospice stay, HOPE will be included in “future rulemaking after testing and analyses are complete,” according to CMS.

The financial impact of the rule comes in two key updates:

  • A proposed payment increase for hospices at 2.7%, or $580 million, for FY 2023. That payment update would be based on the estimated 3.1% inpatient hospital market basket update reduced by the productivity adjustment (0.4 percentage point), according to CMS. The proposed aggregate cap per patient would be $32,142.26, up from the FY 2022 cap of $31,297.61.
  • A proposed “permanent, budget-neutral approach to smooth year-to-year changes in the hospice wage index,” according to CMS. This would mean a permanent cap on negative wage index changes greater than a 5% decrease from the prior year, regardless of the underlying reason for the decrease.

See the CMS release at https://go.cms.gov/36WaTz4.

See the proposed rule at https://bit.ly/3uGFOYj.