Survey Reforms & Other Significant Changes for Hospice

The Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021 was passed at the end of December 2020, contains numerous provisions applicable to all provider types and some that are hospice-specific. (See this NAHC Report for earlier news & analysis on the subject.) Below is a detailed summary of the hospice-specific provisions in date order, as appropriate, and any additional information…

Hospice Reminder: Deadline for Self-reporting of Aggregate Cap is March 1

Hospice providers are required to self-calculate and submit their Aggregate Cap Report for the 2020 Cap year no later than March 1, 2021. Failure to file the self-determined cap report with your Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) timely may result in payment suspension. (Note: the deadline is usually the last day of February but because February…

MedPAC Recommends Hospice Payment Freeze, Cap Cut for FY2022

Recommendations will advance to Congress As NAHC Report anticipated, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), an advisory body to Congress, met this week to finalize payment and policy recommendations that will be incorporated in its annual March Report to Congress.  Among the items MedPAC acted on were payment recommendations for the hospice sector in fiscal year (FY)…

CMS Webinar: 2022 Requests for Applications for VBID Model and Hospice Benefit Component

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) Model team will host a webinar, 2022 Requests for Applications for VBID Model and Hospice Benefit Component, on Thursday, January 28, 2021 from 4-5 PM ET. The webinar was originally scheduled for Thursday, January 14, 2021, but was delayed. During this webinar,…

CMS Issues Modified RFA for CY2022 Medicare Advantage-Hospice Coverage Demonstration

Seeks input on network adequacy standard for CY2023 While the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) only just kicked off the first year of its demonstration to test coverage of hospice under the Medicare Advantage (MA) benefit package on January 1, 2021, the agency has already released its Request for Applications (RFA) that will…

NAHC Analysis: Impact of COVID Relief and Spending Bill on Home Care and Hospice

President Donald J. Trump signed legislation in late December to fund U.S. federal government operations through the 2021 Fiscal Year and provide $900 billion of stimulus supports to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. NAHC offers the following summary of the over 5600 page legislation. Generally, we confine our summary to those provisions that…

NAHC Urges CMS, CMMI to Delay Hospice VBID Implementation

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has written to Seema Verma, the Administrator of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Brad Smith, the Director of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to urge them to mplement a one-year delay of the Hospice Component of the Medicare Advantage VBID Demonstration…

CMS Open Door Form Focuses on Quality Reporting Programs

On December 16, 2020 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) held a Home Health, Hospice & DME (Durable Medical Equipment) Open Door Forum (ODF).  The majority of the updates provided by CMS for home health and hospice were related to the respective quality reporting programs, and questions asked by participants surrounded the upcoming…

MedPAC Tees Up Hospice Freeze and Aggregate Cap Cut for FY2022 Recommendations

Last week the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) reviewed the latest available data on Medicare hospice utilization and discussed potential hospice payment recommendations for FY2022 with an eye toward their inclusion in the annual March Report to Congress.   Commission members expressed preliminary support for inclusion of the following recommendations: For fiscal year 2022, eliminate…

House Approves Hospice Survey Reforms to Increase Survey Frequency, Expand Remedies

On December 8, as part of the year-end legislative push, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Beneficiary Enrollment Notification and Eligibility Simplification Act of 2019 (BENES Act) to address negative findings by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General (OIG) regarding survey performance by Medicare-certified hospice providers. The BENES Act incorporates the…