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OIG Provides Recommendations to Ensure Your Hospice Election Statements Are Clear

Posted on Friday, September 23, 2016 5:14 PM

On September 15, an HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) study reported issues on hospices’ performance on the following requirements of the Medicare hospice benefit:
• Using proper language within election statements
• Having physicians properly certify that beneficiaries are terminally ill

OIG’s goal with this report was to educate Medicare beneficiaries on making the right choice when they elect hospice care and to ensure that hospice physicians are involved in the certifying process.

OIG recommends the following actions to CMS:
• Develop sample text for hospices to use
• Instruct surveyors to strengthen their review of election statements and certifications of terminal illnesses
• Educate hospices about election statements and certifications
• Provide guidance regarding the effects of revocation and discharge

According to OIG, Hospices should improve the following actions immediately:
• Statements need to indicate whether or not the patient is waiving rights to some — but not all — Medicare services
• Statements need to be clear regarding that the care you’re providing isn’t curative
• Examine existing Medicare guidance regarding what should be included within election statements

For the full article, please see the September 26, 2016 Home Health Line Edition.

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