CMS Posts Final Rule for 2014 Hospice Payment Rate Update

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted the final rule on Wednesday for the 2014 hospice wage index and payment rate update to the Federal Register.

In May, CMS posted a proposed rule for the hospice wage index, seeking input from hospice providers regarding the burden the new rule could have on them.

The final rule updates the hospice payment rates and the wage index for fiscal year 2014 and continues the phase-out of the wage index budget neutrality adjustment factor (BNAF), which continues with successive 15% reductions in 2014, 2015, and 2016. 

Also contained in the rule was clarification for how hospices should report diagnoses on hospice claims, along with updates to the public on hospice payment reform.

Changes to requirements for the hospice quality reporting program are another component of the final rule. Measures that are currently reported have been discontinued, while a Hospice Item Set with seven National Quality Forum-endorced measures have been implemented, effective July 1, 2014.

Lastly, the rule implements the hospice Experience of Care Survey beginning January 1, 2015, as proposed. 

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Written by Alyssa Gerace 

Alyssa Gerace