Tag Archives: Hospice

CMS Proposes FY 2018 Update to Medicare Hospice Payment Rules; Solicits Ideas for Hospice Program Improvements

CMS has published a proposed rule to establish fiscal year (FY) 2018 Medicare hospice reimbursement rates, update hospice quality programs, and request public input on ways to improve the Medicare hospice program. The proposed rule would increase FY 2018 hospice rates by 1% (approximately $180 million), as mandated by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization … Continue Reading

OIG Examines Compliance with Hospice Election Statement, Terminal Illness Certification Requirements

A recent OIG report examined whether hospices are meeting all requirements associated with the election statement that Medicare beneficiaries sign when they choose hospice care, and whether physicians are meeting all requirements for certifying Medicare beneficiaries for hospice care.  According to the OIG, more than one third of hospice general inpatient (GIP) stays in 2012 … Continue Reading

CMS Finalizes Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare/Medicaid Providers

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a long-awaited final rule establishing emergency preparedness requirements for Medicare- and Medicaid-participating providers and suppliers to ensure that they can meet the needs of patients and residents during emergency situations, both natural and man-made. According to CMS, the final requirements “establish a comprehensive, consistent, flexible, … Continue Reading

CMS Issues Final Update to Medicare Hospice Payment Rules for FY 2017

CMS has released a final rule that updates the Medicare hospice wage index, payment rates, and cap amount for fiscal year (FY) 2017. CMS estimates that the final rule will increase overall Medicare payments to hospices by 2.1%, or $350 million, in FY 2017. This increase reflects a 2.7% market basket update, which will be … Continue Reading

CMS Finalizes Updated Fire Safety Standards for Health Care Facilities

On May 4, 2016, CMS is publishing a final rule amending fire safety standards applicable to the following types of Medicare- and Medicaid-participating health care facilities: hospitals, critical access hospitals, long-term care facilities, intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ICF-IIDs), ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), hospices that provide inpatient services, religious nonmedical health care … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes Update to Medicare Hospice Payment Rules for FY 2017

CMS has published a proposed rule that would update the Medicare hospice wage index, payment rates, and cap amount for fiscal year (FY) 2017. CMS estimates that the proposed rule would increase overall Medicare payments to hospices by about 2.0%, or $330 million, in FY 2017.  This increase reflects a 2.8% proposed market basket update, … Continue Reading

OIG Identifies Top 25 Unimplemented Recommendations for HHS Cost Savings/Quality Improvements

The OIG has released the 2016 edition of its “Compendium of Unimplemented Recommendations,” which identifies what the OIG considers to be its top 25 unimplemented recommendations in terms of HHS program savings and/or quality improvements. About one-third of the priority recommendations involve Medicare Parts A and B policies, including recommendations to adjust payment policies for … Continue Reading

OIG Examines Hospice Medicare Billing for General Inpatient Care

According to a recent OIG report, hospices billed inappropriately almost one-third of Medicare general inpatient care (GIP) stays in 2012, resulting in $268 million in inappropriate Medicare payments. The GIP level of care includes hospice inpatient unit, hospital, or SNF services for pain control or acute or chronic symptom management that cannot be managed in other settings, … Continue Reading

Extensive Medicare & Medicaid Funding and Program Integrity Provisions in Obama’s Released FY 2017 Budget Proposal

On February 9, 2016, the Obama Administration released its proposed fiscal year (FY) 2017 budget, which contains significant Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement and program integrity legislative proposals – including $419 billion in Medicare savings over 10 years. These proposed policy changes would require action by Congress, and Republican Congressional leaders have already voiced general opposition … Continue Reading

CMS Corrects FY 2016 Medicare Payment Rules

CMS has released corrections to a number of fiscal year (FY) 2016 final Medicare payment rules. Specifically, on October 5, 2015, CMS is publishing corrections to: The final FY 2016 hospice payment update (to correct the hourly rate for continuous home care); The final FY 2016 hospital inpatient prospective payment system/long-term care hospital prospective payment … Continue Reading

CMS Finalizes Medicare Hospice Wage Index/Rates for FY 2016

On August 6, 2015, CMS is publishing its final rule to update Medicare hospice payment rates and the wage index for fiscal year (FY) 2016.  CMS estimates that the final rule will increase overall payments to hospices by about 1.1%, or $160 million, in FY 2016.  This increase reflects a 1.6% hospice payment update percentage, … Continue Reading

Final FY 2016 Medicare Payment Rules on the Horizon

Despite the recent flurry of activity on Medicare payment rules, more are in the pipeline. CMS has sent the final fiscal year (FY) 2016 Medicare skilled nursing facility, hospice, inpatient rehabilitation facility, and inpatient psychiatric facility payment rules to the White House Office of Management and Budget for final regulatory clearance. The FY 2016 final … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes Updates to Medicare Hospice Wage Index/Rates for FY 2016

CMS published a proposed rule on May 5, 2015 that would update Medicare hospice payment rates and the wage index for fiscal year (FY) 2016. CMS estimates that the proposed rule would increase overall payments to hospices by about 1.3%, or $200 million, in FY 2016. This increase reflects a 1.8% proposed FY 2016 hospice payment … Continue Reading

OIG Questions Incentives for Hospice Care in Assisted Living Facilities

Today the OIG issued a report examining the growing use of Medicare hospice care in the assisted living facility (ALF) setting. According to the OIG, Medicare payments for hospice care in ALFs grew by more than 119% from 2007 to 2012, compared to a 38% increase in spending for hospice care provided in other settings. … Continue Reading

CMS Announces DMEPOS/Home Health/Hospice RAC, Improvements to RAC Process

CMS has announced that it has awarded the Region 5 Recovery Audit contract to Connolly, LLC (although the Government Accountability Office subsequently reported that a bid protest has been filed regarding this award). The purpose of this contract will be to identify improper Medicare payments for durable medical equipment (DME), orthotics, prosthetics, and supplies and home health/hospice … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes Updating Certain Medicare/Medicaid Policies to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages

On December 12, 2014, CMS published a proposed rule to revise selected conditions of participation (CoPs) for providers, conditions for coverage (CfCs) for suppliers, and requirements for long-term care (LTC) facilities to conform with the Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor, and ensure that same-sex spouses in legally-valid marriages are recognized and afforded … Continue Reading

President Obama Signs Post-Acute Care Transformation Act and Other Health Policy Bills

On October 6, 2014, President Obama signed into law H.R. 4994, the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (the “IMPACT Act”). The IMPACT Act’s provisions will affect a broad range of post-acute care (PAC) providers: home health agencies (HHAs), skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs), and long-term acute care hospitals (LTCHs). … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes Updated Life Safety Code for Health Care Facilities

On April 16, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a proposed rule that would amend fire safety standards applicable to the following types of Medicare- and Medicaid-participating health care facilities: hospitals, critical access hospitals, long-term care facilities (skilled nursing facilities, nursing facilities, and distinct part skilled nursing facilities or nursing facilities), … Continue Reading
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