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.
Hospices have reported struggling with obtaining from patients or their representatives the election statement addendums, a new requirement that took effect in January as a condition of payment.
CMS released the draft Hospice Item Set (HIS) Manual V3.0 on Oct. 8, 2020, and agencies should take note that Section O, the “hospice visits when death is imminent” measure pair, is being removed from the manual to make way for the new measure.
Some Medicare Advantage Organizations (MAOs) will expand their benefits in 2021, including offering increased access to palliative care and integrated hospice care to enrollees.
A new bill introduced to Congress August 4, 2020, would extend the five-day maximum to 15 days for respite care and would allow it in the home when a caregiver can’t provide care resulting from illness or isolation.
CMS released an updated memo on April 24 to state surveyors reiterating previous guidance about health care workers entering nursing homes. 


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