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NAHC Report: Issue# 2370, 2/11/2014
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An Update on Vaccines for Hospice Patients
House Passes Debt Ceiling Bill
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An Update on Vaccines for Hospice Patients

In October 2013 CMS released Change Request (CR) 8098 which prevented non-hospice providers from furnishing vaccines (flu, pneumonia, and Hepatitis B) to hospice beneficiaries.  Under CR 8098 hospices were responsible for providing the vaccines and non-hospice providers could not be paid for vaccines they furnished to hospice beneficiaries. This CR was initially released in order to enforce the statement in the Medicare Claims Processing Manual (Pub.100-04), chapter 18, section 10.2.4 that vaccines "may be covered when furnished by the hospice". 

CMS has determined that this enforcement is too restrictive, since the manual does not say "only when furnished by the hospice".  Late last week CMS released CR 8620 that turns off the edits initiated in CR 8098 thereby allowing non-hospice providers to be paid for the vaccines they furnished to hospice beneficiaries.

The implementation date for CR 8620 is April 7, 2014.  Non-hospice providers should either hold claims for vaccines furnished to hospice patients until after April 7, 2014 or request adjustments after this date to previously denied claims.  A hospice that wishes to bill for the vaccines it has furnished to its patients must be a Medicare Part B roster biller. 

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House Passes Debt Ceiling Bill
Measure ensures that the United States will not default on its more than $17 trillion debt obligation until March 2015

Late Tuesday night, the House passed a measure to raise the debt ceiling. The measure passed the chamber 228 – 201. 28 Republicans joined with nearly all House Democrats to approve a “clean” extension of the government’s borrowing authority — one without strings attached — sending the measure to the Senate for a final vote, probably this week.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has indicated that the Senate will vote on the legislation, which will likely pass. President Obama has also indicated that he will sign the bill into law, eliminating any possibility of the United States defaulting on its current debt obligations of more than $17 trillion.

The debt ceiling was last addressed in October 2013 when Senators Reid and McConnell (R-KY) were able to negotiate an end to the government shutdown, but did not address a long-term solution for the debt ceiling.

For more on the previous debt ceiling negotiations, please see NAHC Report, October 17, 2013.  

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CMS’ Hospice Item Set Training Videos Available Online

CMS has posted videos of its recent Hospice Item Set trainings that occurred February 4 and 5 in Baltimore, MD.

To access the most recent training videos, please click here.

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