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. 
Hospices saw some of the biggest improvements on the pain assessment measure during the latest refresh of Hospice Compare, and hospices should take note of best practices to see continued success.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, hospices will be permitted to accept medication orders from some physician assistants (PAs).
Hospices should examine how they handle visits in the final days of life in light of a new publicly reported measure introduced with the August release of Hospice Compare data.
Hospices shouldn’t delay preparations for election statement modifications and a new election statement addendum requirement finalized in the 2020 hospice payment rule.


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