A Hospice Visit in Maine

A special report in honor of Home Care & Hospice Month Being a patient or the loved one of a patient can be frightening for anyone in the health care system, but a special mystery and, for some, dread, surrounds hospice. Humans fear death and for many, hospice is closely associated with death. Enter the…

CMS Finalizes Changes to Allow Hospices to Accept Medication Orders From Certain Physician Assistants

The CY2020 Physician Fee Schedule final rule was posted last week and contains a welcome change for hospices.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will revise §418.106(b)(1) to permit a hospice to accept drug orders from a physician, NP (nurse practitioner), or PA (physician assistant).  The PA must be an individual acting within…

CMS Webinar to Provide Compliance Overview for Hospice

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will host a new webinar for Medicare-certified hospice providers to provide an overview on Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP) requirements. The webinar, Success with the HQRP: Putting the Pieces Together to Meet Compliance, will air on Thursday, November 14, 2019 from 2:00 to 3:00 PM ET. REGISTER…

CMS Provides Critical Updates on Home Health and Hospice in Latest Open Door Forum

On November 6, 2019 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) held an Open Door Forum (ODF) for home health, hospice, and durable medical equipment (DME) providers.  During the ODF, CMS provided the following updates for home health and hospice. Key topics include Review Choice Demonstration, PDGM billing, Transition to IQUIES, the CY2020 Home…

CMS to Allow Hospices to Accept Medication Orders From Some Physician Assistants

The CY2020 Physician Fee Schedule final rule was posted last week and contains a welcome change for hospices.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will revise §418.106(b)(1) to permit a hospice to accept drug orders from a physician, NP (nurse practitioner), or PA (physician assistant).  The PA must be an individual acting within…

Legislation to Address OIG Hospice Survey Concerns Introduced in Senate

Today, November 7, 2019, Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced the “Hospice Care Improvement Act of 2019”, which is designed to refine the hospice survey process, improve compliance, and increase transparency. The bill is a legislative response to the findings of two reports from the Health and Human Services’ Office of the…

CMS Webinar and Open Door Forums on Key Topics this Week

How to Submit Medicare Part A Cost Reports Electronically on Tuesday Open Door Forum on Review Choice Demonstration, Quality Updates, CAHPS & More on Wednesday Submitting Your Medicare Part A Cost Report Electronically The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Medicare Learning Network will present a new webinar, Submitting Your Medicare Part…

House of Representatives Passes Key Hospice Bill

Legislation now moves to the Senate On Monday October 28th the House of Representatives approved H.R. 647, the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA), legislation that would make improvements in the training, education and provision of palliative and hospice care. NAHC has advocated for passage of this bill since it was introduced.…

OIG Updates Work Plan to Include Review of Hospice Inpatient and Aggregate Cap Calculations

On October 4, 2019, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) began discussions around potential reform of the hospice Aggregate Cap (Cap). MedPAC is considering a recommendation under which the Aggregate Cap would be wage adjusted for the first time in history but may also consider a reduction in the Aggregate Cap amount: at the October…

New EPA Hazardous Waste Pharmaceutical Requirements Could Impact Disposal in Hospice Inpatient Units

In recent years as part of the larger concern around the growth in opioid abuse nationwide, proper disposal of unused controlled substances in hospice has taken on heightened interest; in recognition that hospices can play an important role in curbing diversion or misuse of unused pain medications, in late 2018 Congress enacted legislation authorizing hospice…