[Updated] CMS to Test Hospice Carve-In Under Medicare Advantage

The Medicare Advantage (MA) carve-in that many industry insiders pegged as “inevitable” has finally arrived. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) on Friday morning announced it is expanding the MA Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) model, using VBID to test out several wide-ranging updates to MA offerings, including a hospice carve-in set to take […]

Hospices Taking on a Bigger Role in the Opioid Crisis Response

The hospice industry has made it well known it can play a bigger part in addressing the national opioid crisis, but the role of hospices are playing may already be broader than some think. Hospice organizations are frequently acting as a first line of support for families and loved ones of those lost to addiction […]

VNSNY, Vitas Want to Fix the Racial Disparity in Hospice Care

Hospice has been a popular target on the mergers-and-acquisitions front, but the industry faces a demographic challenge when it comes to minority patients. The sector is plagued by very low utilization rates for minority patients, and the numbers appear only to be getting worse. About 87% of hospice patients are white, according to the most recent […]

Top Payment Scrutiny Areas in Hospice Care

As more government agencies leverage data analysis and tracking to monitor billing in the home health and hospice space, providers are seeing heightened scrutiny across billing practices. From time to time, everyday mistakes in documentation and challenges with compliance can lead to bigger problems—even when providers think they are doing everything right. In 2015, hospice […]

Critical End-of-Life Choice Leads Fewer Kidney Patients to Pick Hospice

Patients with end-stage renal disease are faced with a seemingly impossible dilemma as their health deteriorates: try to prolong life with continued treatment or seek end-of-life comfort through hospice. Hospice care—covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurers—is a benefit available to individuals with a life expectancy of six months of less. The way it’s […]

Opioids, Star Ratings Among Top Regulatory Issues in Hospice

The hospice care space has become the hot acquisition target of the moment, in part because buyers see high margins and fewer regulatory hurdles when compared against home health care. However, that does not mean hospice is entirely spared from new and evolving hurdles and regulatory obligations. From opioid-related legislation to forthcoming Hospice Compare changes and […]

How the Hospice Benefit Could Be Redefined

As recent changes across the health care system over the last few years indicate that person-centered, interdisciplinary care can improve clinical outcomes, boost patient satisfaction and potentially lower overall costs, hospice care could see an evolution ahead. Hospice has become known as the first truly interdisciplinary benefit, bringing together many types of care under one […]

Hospice Carve-In for Medicare Advantage is ‘Inevitable’

While much of the health care system is moving more Medicare beneficiaries into managed care, hospice continues to live on its own island. That’s because hospice is not allowed as a benefit in Medicare Advantage plans. “What the MA structure creates is a bifurcation,” Julia Driessen, assistant professor of health policy and management at the […]