Summary of Key Points in the CMS Open Door Forum on Home Health, Hospice

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) held a Home Health, Hospice & DME Open Door Forum (ODF) on May 15, 2019.  Below is a summary of the ODF topics pertaining to home health and hospice. Hospice CMS reviewed the FY2020 Hospice Proposed Rule key points.  It was clear from the questions at the…

States Grapple with the Opioid Epidemic and Pain Management

Florida bill would make it easier to prescribe for hospice patients The opioid epidemic claims about 115 lives per day in the United States, a rate that has grown by 4000 percent since 1999. Nearly half of these opioid-related fatalities involve a prescription drug, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In March…

New CMS Open Door Forum Tomorrow to Focus on Hospice Proposed Rule, Home Health CAHPS and Much More

The next Home Health, Hospice & DME Open Door Forum is scheduled for Wednesday, May 15, 2019 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM Eastern Time, and it will focus on a wide variety of topics, including the hospice proposed final rule, quality reporting, CAHPS, and more. Please note that the agenda is subject to change…

Have You Retrieved Your Hospice PEPPER?

Don’t miss this NAHC webinar on how to understand and use PEPPER. It’s free to members! As previously reported, the Hospice Program for Evaluating Payment Patterns Electronic Report (PEPPER) became available for hospices to download at the beginning of April. The PEPPER is only available via download from the PEPPER Resources portal.  PEPPER is a…

Policy Change for Assessment Submission Timeframe Impacts Hospice and Home Health Providers

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced yesterday an upcoming change in policy regarding the timeframe for submission of “assessments” that are part of the quality reporting program.  Specifically, current CMS policy for submission of patient assessment records allows providers to submit records for up to 36 months from the assessment target date. …

CDC Clarifies Applicability of Opioid Prescribing Guidelines, Excepts End-of-Life and Palliative Care

The Centers for Disease Control has released a letter clarifying that its 2016 Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain was not intended to apply to cancer treatment, palliative care, or end of life care. Recent efforts by policymakers to stem the nationwide epidemic of opioid abuse  culminated in the enactment of the 2018 SUPPORT…

How to Understand the Hospice PEPPER Report and Use it to Help Your Agency

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) will present an important new webinar entitled The Hospice PEPPER Report on Thursday, April 25, 2019 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM EDT. This webinar is free to NAHC members. If you’re a hospice provider, you know the importance of PEPPER (Program for Evaluating Payment Patterns…

CMS FY2020 Hospice Payment Rule Rebases RHC, GIP and IRC; Imposes New “Transparency” Requirements

  –2.7% Payment Update and Wage Index Changes Part of Significant Rule Changes On Friday, April 19, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted its proposed FY2020 payment rule titled, “Medicare Program; FY 2020 Hospice Wage Index and Payment rate Update and Hospice Quality Reporting Requirements”.  Comments on the rule will be…

CMS Updates Hospice Chapter of Medicare Claims Processing Manual

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released Transmittal 4280/Change Request (CR) 11205, Update to Pub. 100-04, Chapter 11.    This CR updates the Hospice chapter of the Medicare Claims Processing Manual to reflect: Language regarding billing for physician assistants as attending physicians Clarification of hospice election periods and benefit periods (same meaning for claims…

CMS Details Rationale for Modified Public Reporting of Hospice Visits When Death is Imminent – Paired Measure

As reported on April 5, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will publish on Hospice Compare this summer only Measure 1 of the Hospice Visits When Death is Imminent Paired Measure. Measure 1 is the percentage of patients who receive at least one visit from a registered nurse, physician, nurse practitioner, or…