NAHC Wants Proposals to Build a Summit to Solve America’s Long-Term Care Workforce Problems

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is extending a request for proposals (RFP) from all interested stakeholders to organize a coalition-based Workforce Summit that will develop evidence-based strategies and solutions to address the workforce challenges faced by the industry. The Workforce Summit will be a catalyst for change, providing specific ideas, plans,…

Open Door Forum Summary: Updates on iQIES Transition Update and Home Health & Hospice

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) held a Home Health, Hospice, & DME Open Door Forum (ODF) on January 8, 2020.  A summary is provided below, beginning with home health and followed by hospice. HOME HEALTH iQIES Transition CMS indicated in the ODF that it is aware of several issues with the iQIES…

Important Reminder: Hospice Quality Reporting Program

Beginning with the November 2019 Hospice Compare refresh, providers need to submit all HIS modification or inactivation records prior to the 4.5 month data correction deadline for public reporting for the modifications to be reflected in the corresponding HIS Provider Preview Report and Hospice Compare refresh. This means that providers will have 4.5 months following…

Improper Payment Rates for Home Health and Hospice Providers Decreased in 2019

The improper payment rate for home health providers in 2019 dropped 5.5 percent to 12.1 percent, from last years’ rate of 17.6 percent. Non-hospital based hospices had an overall improper payment rate of 8.9 percent, a 2.1 percent drop from 11 percent in 2018 and hospital based hospices had an 18.9 percent improper payment rate,…

CMS Releases Long-awaited Details on MA/Hospice Carve-in

Demonstration Planned for CY2021 Late December 19, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a Request for Applications (RFA) for the Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) Model Incorporation of the Medicare Hospice Benefit into Medicare Advantage (MA), through which it is seeking participation by MA plans.  Eligible MA plans in all states and…

Changes to Emergency Preparedness Requirements

A recent final rule released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) relating to burden reduction includes welcome changes to emergency preparedness requirements.  The final rule, Regulatory Provisions to Promote Program Efficiency, Transparency, and Burden Reduction; Fire Safety Requirements for Certain Dialysis Facilities; Hospital and Critical Access Hospital (CAH) Changes to Promote Innovation,…

Study: More Choosing to Die at Home than in Hospital

For the first time since the early 20th century, more people are choosing to spend their final days and hours at home rather than in a hospital, according to a new research letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Natural deaths in hospitals fell from 39.7 percent to 29.8 percent, while deaths at…

Industry Trend Report Tracks Hospice Length of Stay, Utilization

In its 2019 Industry Trend Report, data analytics firm Trella Health (formerly Excel Health Group) provides timely insights into hospice trends, including a focus on hospice admissions, utilization, and length of stay as of the first quarter of 2019. Following are some data points of particular interest. Hospice Admissions: Trella found that hospice admissions grew…

MedPAC Advances Hospice Cap Reforms, FY2021 Payment Recommendations

Initial Findings on Impact of Post-Acute Transfer Policy on Hospice Care On December 5 and 6, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) held a public meeting at which members discussed recommendations under consideration for inclusion in its annual MedPAC Report to Congress that is usually released in March.  MedPAC will finalize its recommendations at a…

Hospice Quality Reporting Program Update

HOSPICE ITEM SET (HIS) AND HOPE INSTRUMENT Recruitment Announcement – Alpha Test for the Hospice Outcomes & Patient Evaluation (HOPE) assessment instrument Abt Associates is currently recruiting hospice providers to participate in a field test (called an alpha test) of the new hospice patient assessment instrument, titled Hospice Outcomes & Patient Evaluation (HOPE). Data collection…