CMS Releases Home Health-Based Hospice Cost Report Changes for Further Industry Review
February 18, 2016 11:52 AM
In recent years the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has been expanding hospice cost reporting requirements to gather greater detail on costs by level of care. The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has been monitoring activity in this area and submitting recommendations to CMS through the review and comment process. The revised hospice cost report for freestanding hospice providers became effective for cost reporting years beginning on/after October 1, 2014. Revisions to all provider-based hospice cost reports are at different points in the public review process but it is expected that all provider-based hospices will be subject to the expanded reporting requirements effective for cost reporting years beginning on or after October 1, 2015. All hospice providers should be preparing their organizations for the expanded reporting requirements at this time.
The latest version of proposed cost reporting changes for home health-based hospices was released by CMS for public comment on February 10 with a 30-day comment period. The notice requesting public input is available here, and the supporting documents for the notice are available here. Of particular note in the supporting documents is a summary of the 60-DAY COMMENTS/RESPONSES FOR CMS-1728-94 as it includes CMS’ views on recommendations from home health and hospice stakeholders relative to the initial revisions proposed in September 2015. As part of the comments, CMS confirms previous communication with NAHC and others related to use of square footage vs. dollar value as the statistical basis for capital-related movable equipment costs. Additionally, CMS communicates that it does not intend to delay the effective date for changes to the provider-based hospice cost reporting requirements beyond the currently planned application for cost reporting years beginning on or after October 1, 2015.
NAHC will be analyzing the latest version of proposed changes to the home health-based hospice cost reporting requirements with the intent to comment as appropriate on the revised 1728-94 or more general issues related to the hospice cost report changes.