On September 28, 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) hosted a Forum on the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP) which, for the most part, provided a review of information published in the FY2023 Hospice Final Rule and recent public reporting activity.
Of note were comments regarding status of the Hospice Outcomes & Patient Evaluation (HOPE) assessment tool. CMS continues to seek hospice providers to participate in Beta testing of the HOPE tool, and a detailed recruitment announcement is available on CMS’s Hospice QRP Provider and Stakeholder Engagement webpage. Those interested in participating should email HOPETesting@abtassoc.com.
Beta testing is expected to continue into spring 2023, after which CMS and Abt (the HOPE tool contractor) must conduct in-depth analysis of the testing. Following conclusion of this analysis and any modifications that the HOPE tool might undergo as a result, the HOPE tool must go through rulemaking so that public stakeholders have an opportunity to comment on the tool and CMS’ plans for implementation.
Given the time frame for the work that remains to finalize the tool, it is unclear whether CMS will propose the tool as part of the FY2024 proposed hospice payment rule or whether public consideration would be delayed until the next rulemaking cycle (applicable to FY2025).
A recording of the September Forum will be posted in the near future and will be announced in NAHC Report.