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Breaking News: CMS Proposes Hospice Payment Increase of 2.5%

Posted on Monday, April 22, 2019 3:42 PM

Last week, CMS issued a proposed rule that shows continued commitment to strengthening Medicare by aligning hospice payment rates with the cost of providing care.

The proposed rule would increase payments to $540 million in 2020 for hospices. 

This proposed rule would update the hospice payment rates, wage index, and cap amount for fiscal year (FY) 2020.  It also proposes to rebase the continuous home care, general inpatient care, and the inpatient respite care per diem payment rates in a budget-neutral manner to align Medicare payments with the costs of providing care. This rule also proposes to modify the election statement requirements to require the hospice to include additional information aimed at increasing coverage transparency for patients that elect hospice.

CMS would also require hospices to provide patients and or Medicare Providers with a detailed statement outlining the reason for items, drugs and services that the hospice has recommended. 

“To increase payment accuracy, CMS is proposing to use the concurrent IPPS wage index for the hospice wage index to align the data across all of the settings.  Currently, CMS calculates the hospice wage index using the previous year’s pre-floor, pre-reclassified hospital wage index data.  In this rule, CMS is proposing to use the FY 2020 pre-floor, pre-reclassified hospital wage index data for the FY 2020 hospice wage index rather than using the FY 2019 pre-floor, pre-reclassified hospital wage index data.”

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Corridor is the nation’s preferred partner and trusted business advisor to home health and hospice providers, providing quality services and impactful results for 30 years. Focusing on key operational, regulatory and financial challenges, Corridor delivering industry-unique solutions and deep expertise in coding, clinical documentation review, compliance, billing and collections , consulting and provider staff education . At Corridor, we make the business of caring for people Better! For the most important industry updates and news that impacts home health and hospice, please make sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter to receive the latest up-to-date industry information direct to your inbox!

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