Xavier Becerra Confirmed as HHS Secretary

The U.S. Senate on Thursday narrowly confirmed California Attorney General Xavier Becerra as the next secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). It did so by a 50-49 margin, with the vote playing out almost entirely along party lines. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine was the only Republican who voted to confirm […]

Coronavirus Daily Update: Home Care Providers Target PPP Funding; White House Reacts to Internal Outbreak

During this critical time, Home Health Care News remains committed to bringing you all the essential news related to home-based care operations. At the same time, we also recognize the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to our regular content, we’ll continue to highlight industry-related developments and mitigation strategies in this rolling bulletin. What […]

CMS Pumps Brakes on Primary Care First Launch

When the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) unveiled its new voluntary risk-based in-home primary care initiative in April, home health providers and advocates responded with cautious optimism. For some, that optimism will now have to be put on hold. Although CMS is now accepting applications to participate in its Primary Care First payment […]

[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 […]