Hospice providers need to refresh survey protocols and update staff on the new rules around surveyor practices and the consequences for providers out of compliance.
CMS recently responded to questions about calculating and reporting claims-based measures as part of the Hospice Quality Reporting Program.
There has been a gradual shift in the top reported principal diagnoses used for hospice care in recent years, and industry experts say CMS may be looking into this shift (involving some diagnoses with longer lengths of stay) as a sign of misuse of this service.
Recent data on the most common hospice principal diagnoses show a shift leaning more toward increasing numbers of neurological disease.
Hospices not meeting quality reporting requirements in FY 2022 will face an increased penalty down the road.
Providers will see a 2% rate increase, according to the FY 2022 Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate final rule released July 29, 2021.
The comment period for the proposed 2022 hospice payment rule has ended, and the 55 comments included  mixed feelings on a variety of proposals including the proposed star rating system, the election addendum and the permanent adoption of two blanket waivers introduced during the public health emergency.
After a year of restrictions placed on health care organizations, many hospice agencies are ready to accept volunteers again.
Hospices should prepare for changes to the quality measures that will be publicly displayed on Care Compare as detailed in the proposed hospice payment rule.
As CMS looks to introduce new measures focused on care delivery, hospice providers should review their claims data to identify areas where they may be underperforming.


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