CMS Proposes Cost Report Revisions for Hospital-based Hospices
February 10, 2015 10:22 AM
As part of efforts to secure more detailed data from hospice programs to support payment reform, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has been revising cost reporting requirements for hospices. The first set of revisions -- applicable to freestanding hospices-- significantly expanded reporting requirements and became effective with cost reporting years beginning on or after October 1, 2014.
On February 6, 2015, CMS published notice in the Federal Register that proposed revisions to the Hospital/Hospital Health Care Complex Cost Report will be made available for review, and providing a 60-day period for submission of public comments on the changes. After the 60-day comment period closes, it is expected that CMS will announce a second, 30-day public comment period.
Once CMS has completed review of public comments, it will issue final revisions to the Hospital/Hospital Health Care Complex Cost Report as a regulatory transmittal. The comment process will take a minimum of three months, although it could take several more months to complete. For freestanding hospices, for example, the time period for the cost report revisions from initial issuance until final release as a transmittal took approximately 16 months.
As of this writing, CMS had not yet posted the file including the proposed revisions to the hospital cost report forms and instructions, as well as additional supporting materials, but when they are posted they will be available on the CMS PRA LISTING page.
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) anticipates that the hospital hospice changes will closely mirror those made to the cost report forms and instructions for freestanding hospices. NAHC, with the support of its affiliated Hospice Association of America and Home Care & Hospice Financial Managers Association, will review the changes closely and provide CMS with comments.
It is expected that CMS will issue additional proposed revisions for home health- and skilled nursing facility-based hospices in the coming weeks, which will also require public notice and comment opportunities. NAHC will monitor continuing activity in this area and alert member agencies through the NAHC member listservs and NAHC Report.