Pointing to a concerning boom in newly certified hospices, leading industry groups are asking CMS to increase federal oversight “to protect hospice patients and their families, as well as the vast majority of hospice providers that properly observe Medicare and Medicaid laws and regulations.”
The letter was signed by LeadingAge, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation.
Unusual growth in hospice providers in California has concerned the industry in recent years. The letter notes that a similar pattern is showing up in Arizona, Nevada and Texas.
“When similar activities were occurring in the home health program, CMS took decisive action to maintain the integrity of the benefit through imposition of temporary moratoria on the admission of new agencies in select areas of the country,” the letter notes. “We believe that targeted moratoria and similar actions directed toward high-risk providers could serve as a valuable means for blocking or eliminating from the hospice program those who engage in improper, unethical, and potentially illegal activities that harm patients and families and taint the reputation of the broader hospice provider community.”