In comments about the proposed 2018 hospice rule, industry stakeholders expressed major concerns about CMS’ future plans to change hospice eligibility requirements.
Due to system errors as a result of the new hospice payment structure, CMS is asking all hospices to take it upon themselves to identify claims in which they were overpaid since January 2016 — and pay the federal Medicare agency back.
Now that Alzheimer’s disease has risen to become by far the most commonly used hospice claims-reported diagnosis, hospices must be even more certain that their documentation for Alzheimer’s patients can withstand auditor scrutiny.
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.


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