Category: Hospice

Hospice period dates not calculating correctly through Common Working File

Some hospice period dates have not been calculating correctly through the Common Working File (CWF), according to Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) Palmetto GBA. Period three and later should be no more than 60 days from the start through termination dates. Palmetto found that third or later periods have more than 60 days calculated in the […]

Pain Management: CDC Conversation Starters for Patients and Their Doctors

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released four new fact sheets that encourage patients and doctors to discuss pain management options and the potential risks of opioid medication. Information includes: What patients can expect if they are taking opioids Guidance on safer use Prompts for a doctor-patient discussion of treatment goals and plans […]

CMS releases latest Hospice Compare data, providers continue to see improvement

In the August refresh of Hospice Compare, providers nationwide scored 86.4% on the “Hospice and palliative care composite process measure.” By comparison, hospices scored 85.3% in May 2019. They scored 83.6% on the composite measure when it initially appeared on Hospice Compare as part of the website’s quarterly refresh in November 2018. The measure shows […]

Reminder: Updated hospice payment rates, wage index to take effect Oct. 1

Payment rates for hospice care, the hospice cap amount, and the hospice wage index updates finalized in the 2020 hospice payment rule will take effect Oct. 1, and CMS has released a transmittal and MLN matters article on the changes. CMS finalized rate increases for continuous home care, general inpatient care and inpatient respite care. […]

CMS posts webinar on Primary Care First Seriously Ill Population Model

CMS has set out to provide further information regarding the Primary Care First (PCF) Seriously Ill Population (SIP) model option with a two-part webinar series, hosted by the PCF Model Options Team. The model “encourages advanced primary care practices, including providers whose clinicians are enrolled in Medicare who typically provide hospice or palliative care services,” […]

OIG recommends changes for home health, hospice, personal care services to reduce fraud

In a July report, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) revisited its top 25 unimplemented recommendations for reducing fraud, waste and abuse. Several of the recommendations involve home health, hospice or personal care services. The OIG recommends the implementation of a statutory mandate requiring surety bonds for home health […]

Focus groups created to provide input on hospice patient assessment tool

CMS is seeking experienced hospice providers and clinicians to take part in focus groups to help develop a hospice patient assessment tool. Those interested in participating can apply on CMS’ website. The deadline for application submission is Aug. 26. Eight virtual focus groups will take place after that date. Electronic health record (EHR) vendors who […]

Commenters note “dramatic impact” of proposed changes in hospice payment rule

More than 175 commenters shared their thoughts on the proposed hospice payment rule. CMS accepted public comment on FY 2020 Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update and Hospice Quality Reporting Requirements through June 18. Comments weighed in on proposals to rebase payment rates, eliminate wage index lag, and introduce election statement modifications and an […]

Proposed rule would revise regulations around nondiscrimination in health programs

In an effort to reduce burden, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and CMS are seeking to update regulations around nondiscrimination outlined in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The proposed rule was published in the Federal Register June 14. It would make “substantial revisions” to Section 1557 of the ACA by eliminating “provisions […]