NAHC Announces Hospice Track for 2015 Financial Management Conference
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) today released details on the Hospice Education Track, one of the four concurrent education tracks that will be offered during the 2015 Financial Management Conference. Conference participants will have the opportunity to choose one of four concurrent education tracks including: the Home Health Track, the Hospice Track, the Innovations Track, and the Leadership Track. Last week, NAHC released details on the Home Health Track. This article provides a summary of the Hospice Track. Subsequent articles will provide further details regarding the Innovations Track and the Leadership Track.
“The Hospice Track provides hospice executives with the strategies and information they need to bring down costs and provide more effective care,” said William Dombi, Vice President for Law at NAHC and the Director of the Home Care & Hospice Financial Management Association, a NAHC affiliate. “We will offer the tools and knowledge needed to build an effective palliative care program, increase revenue, use benchmarks to improve performance, and comply with Medicare billing requirements.”
The Hospice Track will include four sessions covering effective palliative care programs, hospice revenue growth, using benchmarks to your advantage, and complying with Medicare billing requirements. Here are more details regarding the four programs offered to Hospice Track participants:
102. How to Build an Effective Palliative Care Program
Over the past several years, there has been a significant increase in interest, demand and development of programs that serve patients who do not elect or meet eligibility criteria for home health or hospice, and who would otherwise fall between the cracks of traditional health care service lines. Palliative Care and Advanced Illness Management (AIM) programs remain an enigma because they lack specific regulations or guidance in terms of setting, reimbursement, operations, stage in the disease process, or delivery models. Many home care organizations are eager to develop such programs but are uncertain how to proceed given the lack of clear structure and reimbursement. This session will review the goals, models and reimbursement for Palliative Care and Advanced Illness Management programs, as well as provide guidance on the start-up and funding considerations for these programs.
This session is based upon a HHFMA White Paper on Palliative Care, of which draft/final copies will be shared with participants who attend this session. The white paper is intended to enable you to determine the overall feasibility of creating a great palliative care program at your agency.
202. Hospice Revenue Growth
Hospices can generate new revenues in three ways—find new patients who have not previously used hospice, take market share from a competitor and admit patients earlier in their terminal disease trajectory. A hospice must evaluate which strategy best fits its situation. Hospices need to assess their market and determine which approach is best. The soon to be published hospice quality data will give providers a way of differentiating themselves versus their competition.
Approximately 7 percent of all Medicare patients who are discharged from hospitals die within 30 days. Most of those individuals do not enter hospice, but die in hospitals or other facilities.
While average length of stay in hospice has increased in the past decade, median length has not changed. Too many patients are admitted to hospice in the last few days prior to death, in crisis, and do not reap the full benefits of hospice care. Palliative care or advanced illness programs can capture referrals earlier in the disease progression; advertising has also proven successful in increasing family referrals, which usually have a longer LOS.
302.The Power of Benchmarks: Using Benchmarks to Drive Hospice Performance Improvement
As Medicare continues to squeeze payment rates, increase regulatory requirements, and consider revisions to the benefit and payment model, hospice leaders are searching for ways to improve their financial and operational performance. Benchmarks can be a powerful tool to help identify where hospice agencies have an opportunity to improve. The trick is knowing how to use the benchmarks to your advantage and to actually improve performance. This program will help provide you with the approach and tools for using benchmark data to improve the performance of your hospice agency.
402. Hospice Revenue Cycle: Optimizing Compliance & Effectiveness
Hospice regulatory requirements have become increasingly complex in recent years and 2014 was no exception, with substantial changes occurring to Medicare billing requirements. These requirements are expected to continue to change and the Medicare hospice benefit continues to receive heightened scrutiny from CMS and program integrity contractors. It is critical that hospice providers take time now to examine the revenue cycle process to identify potential threats to compliance and cash flow, as well as to prepare for expected future regulatory changes.
This session will focus on strategies for optimizing the revenue cycle process by examining and applying industry revenue cycle performance benchmarks, analyzing typical revenue cycle compliance threats, and assessing strategies for periodic compliance audits.
For more details and to register for the Financial Management Conference, please click here.