A newly announced probe involving routine home care services is yet another example of how auditors have begun targeting hospices in recent years due to perceived issues with documentation and medical necessity.
CMS on June 1 will provide hospices preview reports in advance of Hospice Compare’s launch. This will be hospices’ first chance to see how they’ll stack up against the nation when Hospice Compare appears this summer.
It might seem like cause for long-term concern when you see hospices only are expected to receive a 1% payment increase in 2018 — compared to a 2.1% increase in 2017.
HHL recently asked a series of questions to Edo Banach, who on Feb. 22 became president and chief executive officer of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). Banach succeeds J. Donald Schumacher, who had headed the organization since 2002.
New data show there’s still plenty of opportunity for hospices and other providers to educate doctors that advance care planning codes exist and about how to conduct end-of-life discussions.
CMS’ supplemental medical review contractor (SMRC) has begun its first-ever project involving hospices — and this scrutiny could lead to recoupments.

Slides from a recent CMS presentation revealed the federal Medicare agency plans to include within a new Hospice Compare website the seven current process measures from the Hospice Item Set (HIS) and eight Hospice CAHPS survey measures.


Pay close attention to how well your hospice’s RNs manage patient symptoms and whether RNs’ documentation supports the frequency with which they’re conducting visits.

Closely examine new CMS guidance explaining what complete, written certifications from physicians must include. Also, review your hospice’s election statement and ensure it includes the information CMS provided within a new sample statement.
A new change request from CMS seeks to resolve a problem that has caused many hospices to be slammed with thousands of dollars in lost revenue.


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