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CMS proposes payment boost, new reporting system for hospice

April 22, 2016
by Pamela Tabar, Editor-in-Chief
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed a 2 percent increase in reimbursements for hospices in 2017 and has updated its reporting requirements for hospice spending, admission and discharge and diagnosis data.

The proposed rule provides details on what the hospice Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) survey should be implemented, how it relates to the Hospice Quality Reporting Program, reporting language requirements and other details. If passed into a final rule, hospices would need to begin gathering survey data in January 2017 to participate in the FY 2019 annual payment adjustments.

In addition, two new quality measures for hospice care are being proposed for 2017. The “Hospice visits when death is imminent” measure will assess caregiver visits during the patient’s last week of life. The “Hospice and palliative care composite process measure” will track the number of patients who receive care under the recommended guidelines in an attempt to determine where process-based access to care may be lacking.

The data collection proposal is an expansion of hospice data collection processes in preparation for public reporting of CMS-related hospice data, which could begin as early as 2017.

The proposal also would raise the hospice cap amount to $28,377.17 as an adjustment defined by the FY 2016 Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update.

CMS will seek comments on the proposal until June 20, 2016.