CMS Announces Hospice Medicare Care Choices Model (MCCM) Awardees
July 23, 2015 09:35 AM
On July 20, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the names of more than 140 hospice programs nationwide that have been selected to participate in the Medicare Care Choices Model (MCCM). A Request for Proposals (RFP) for the MCCM was issued in spring 2014 with the intention that selected programs would be announced in the fall of 2014 and start delivery of services on January 1, 2015; however, due to enthusiastic response from the hospice industry, review of the applications took longer than anticipated. The hospice industry has been anxiously awaiting release of information about the project for a number of months. Ultimately CMS expanded the project from the planned 30 sites, and anticipates a start date for a portion of the projects of January 1, 2016, with the remainder to begin in January 2018. All projects will conclude on December 31, 2020. The goals of the MCCM project are to:
Evaluate whether eligible Medicare and dually eligible beneficiaries would elect to receive supportive care services typically provided by hospice if they were able to also receive curative care, and
Determine whether providing both palliative and curative care concurrently impacts care quality and patient and family satisfaction.
While CMS originally anticipated enrollment of 30,000 Medicare beneficiaries in the project, it now anticipates that as many as 150,000 beneficiaries will participate. To be eligible, the patients must be eligible for hospice services (a life expectancy of six months or less) and have been diagnoses with one of the following conditions: cancer, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and HIV/AIDS. Under the project, the requirement that terminally ill patients forego their right to curative care for the terminal condition(s) would be waived. It is currently believed that some terminally ill patients do not enter hospice because they want to continue curative care. The participating projects will receive a monthly payment of between $200 and $400 to provide supportive services available under the hospice benefit. Providers of curative services would bill Medicare based on existing policies.
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has been engaged in discussions with CMS and member hospice agencies regarding the project and its specifications since it was announced in 2014, and will be closely monitoring its ongoing progress. For more information about the MCCM mode, please gohere.