MedPAC Recommends Cut in Hospice Base Payments for FY2020

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has recommended to the U.S. Congress a two percent reduction in hospice base payments for fiscal year 2020 in its 2019 Report to Congress. This is in line with what NAHC expected and previously reported. Given recent historical data trends, implementation of the MedPAC recommendation for FY2020 would result…

Register Now for the 2019 Financial Management Conference

Registration for the 2019 Financial Management Conference, the only conference designed specifically for finance professionals in home health and hospice, is now open at the FMC website, http://fmc2019.nahc.org/. The 2019 FMC, in Chicago, Illinois, from July 14-16, will feature faculty, speakers, and business leaders who have the answers and solutions your business needs to successfully…

Cost Report Submission Reminders & Updates for Home Health and Hospice Providers

The largest proportion of home health and hospice agencies utilize a calendar year fiscal year and are required by Medicare to submit their cost report by May 31. This article provides reminders of various changes that may impact the cost reporting process for these organizations. Electronic Cost Report Submission/CMS Webinar Starting last year, the Centers…

Hospice Quality Reporting Program Updates

Below are important updates related to the hospice quality reporting program (HQRP).  Topics include: Preview reports Post-training materials for the January 23, 2019 HQRP training webinar CAHPS Hospice Survey results available on Hospice Compare CAHPS Hospice Survey response rates Case-Mix adjustment methods for CAHPS Hospice Survey measures CAHPS Hospice Survey state scores and national percentiles…

Hospices: Is Your Cap Report Good to Go?

As referenced previously, Medicare-participating hospice programs have until Thursday, February 28, 2019, to calculate and transmit their 2018 Aggregate Cap report to their Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC), along with any Cap liability (if one exists).  If the MAC does not receive the hospice’s completed report by the due date of February 28, 2019, the MAC…

CMS Updates Providers on PDGM and Quality Reporting Program

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) held a Home Health, Hospice & DME Open Door Forum yesterday where CMS representatives provided information on the new Home Health Patient Driven Grouping Model (PDGM), the home health quality reporting program and the Hospice Quality Reporting Program.  A summary of the information shared is below. Home…

Updates to Emergency Preparedness Requirements

The CMS Quality, Safety and Oversight Group (QSO) recently released a memo to state survey agency directors, Emergency Preparedness- Updates to Appendix Z of the State Operations Manual (SOM), notifying them that  emerging infectious diseases have been added to the definition of all-hazards approach, and there are new Home Health Agency (HHA) citations and clarifications…

Hospice Supplemental Medical Review Contractor Activity

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS)’ Supplemental Medical Review Contractor (SMRC), Noridian Healthcare Solutions LLC, has posted a current hospice project – General Inpatient Hospice.   CMS contracted with Noridian on February 13, 2018 to help lower improper payment rates and increase efficiencies of Medicare and Medicaid medical review. The SMRC conducts medical review of…

Hospice Quality Reporting Program – Upcoming Deadline and Quarterly Update

CAHPS Hospice Survey Data Submission Deadline The data submission deadline for patients that passed away in July, August and September 2018 (Quarter 3 2018) is February 13, 2019. Hospices are accountable for ensuring their survey vendors have successfully submitted files by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on February 13, 2019.  If data is not submitted by this time, the…

The Role of the Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner in Home Health and Hospice

Beginning January 1, 2019, Medicare hospice patients could begin choosing physician assistants (PA) as their attending physician.  However, the benefit of this allowance is not fully realized as one of the Medicare Hospice Conditions of Participation (CoP) prevents these practitioners from fully fulfilling the role of the attending physician for hospice patients.  Questions providers have…