CMS Seeks Input on Proposed 2014 Hospice Wage Index

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is seeking input from hospice providers on the fiscal year 2014 Hospice Wage Index Update regarding the burden it may have on providers.

CMS’s proposed rule updates the hospice payment rates and wage index for 2014 and also continues the phase-out of the wage index budget neutrality adjustment factor (BNAF). It also clarifies diagnosis reporting on hospital claims, provides an update on hospice payment reform and additional data collecting requirements, and proposes changes to quality reporting requirements for hospice providers. 

The proposal ups hospice payment rates for FY 2014 by 1.8%, an update expected to produce an economic impact of about $180 million in increased payments to hospices. 

The addition of a new 15% reduction to the BNAF in fiscal year 2014 contributes to a total eventual BNAF reduction of 70% in 2016. In fiscal years 2015 and 2016, the BNAF phase-out will continue with successive 15% reductions.

The wage index addenda of the annual proposed and final rules will not be available in the Federal Register, as it has been in the past, but can be accessed online via the CMS website. 

CMS is seeking comment on several issues, including the need for the information collection it is requiring, the accuracy of CMS’ estimate of the information collection burden, the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected, and recommendations to minimize the information collection burden on the affected public. 

Hospice providers have a 60-day window to leave a public comment before CMS submits any collected information to the Office of Management and Budget for review and approval. To find out more or to leave a comment about the proposed rule, including new quality reporting requirements and hospital claims reporting, click here

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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