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:: NAHC Report
NAHC Report: Issue# 2422, 5/5/2014
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CMS Issues Proposed Regulation for FY2015 Hospice Payment and Policy Changes
NAHC/HAA President Responds to Hospice’s Portrayal in the Washington Post
For Your Information: Changing Healthcare Delivery Educational Sessions Announced for NAHC’s Financial Management Conference & Exhibition

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CMS Issues Proposed Regulation for FY2015 Hospice Payment and Policy Changes

On Friday, May 2, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted online Medicare Program; FY 2015 Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update; Hospice Quality Reporting Requirements and Process and Appeals for Part D Payment for Drugs for Beneficiaries Enrolled in Hospice; the proposed regulation will be printed in the May 8, 2014, issue of the Federal Register. A final regulation, based on stakeholder input, will be published this summer. 

This rule provides an update on hospice payment reform analyses and solicits comments on “terminal illness” and “related conditions” definitions, and on a process and appeals for Part D payment for drugs, while beneficiaries are under a hospice election.  Also, this rule proposes timeframes for filing the notice of election and the notice of termination/revocation; adding the attending physician to the hospice election form; a requirement that hospices complete their hospice inpatient and aggregate cap determinations within 5 months after the cap year ends, and remit any overpayments; and provides updates for the hospice quality reporting program (HQRP). Additionally, the proposed rule provides guidance on determining hospice eligibility, information on the delay in the implementation of the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM), and would further clarify how hospices are to report diagnoses on hospice claims. Finally, the rule proposes to make a technical regulatory text change. 

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NAHC/HAA President Responds to Hospice’s Portrayal in the Washington Post

In response to an article from the front page of the May 3, 2014 Washington Post, Val J. Halamandaris, President of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) and its affiliated Hospice Association of America (HAA) issued the following statement:

“Hospice care is widely regarded as unique and vital to patients and families that have benefited from this special service. While we know the incidence of hospices failing to address the needs of a patient that is actively dying or in crisis is isolated and by no means widespread, any apparent failure of this kind cannot be tolerated. “Terminal neglect? How some hospices decline to treat the dying” (Washington Post, May 3) sends a clear signal that current oversight efforts are failing, and is a call to policymakers and hospice providers that we must redouble our efforts to ensure appropriate care is available at any time the need arises.

As part of the hospice industry, the National Association for Home Care and Hospice has long urged CMS and the Congress to increase the frequency of surveys for hospice providers to ensure that they are offering a full range of services based on the individual needs of each patient. This is a critical need that must be addressed. We also strongly support ongoing efforts to establish hospice quality measures and the move toward public reporting of those measures so that patients and families have better tools to assist them in choosing a hospice to care for them at this important time in their lives.”

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Changing Healthcare Delivery Educational Sessions Announced for NAHC’s Financial Management Conference & Exhibition

NAHC and its affiliated Home Care & Hospice Financial Managers’ Association (HHFMA) recently announced the educational sessions for its upcoming Financial Management Conference & Exhibition. The conference is being held July 13 – 15 in Chicago, IL.

This year, attendees have four different tracks to choose from – based on their and their agencies’ unique needs. The four tracks are:

  • Home Health
  • Hospice
  • Changing Healthcare Delivery
  • Leadership

Below are some of the highlights from this year’s Home Health track:

Evolving Payment and Service Models: Blessing or a Curse?
Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), bundled payment, population health management, and other shifts in payment and service models create a fluid landscape for home health agencies – presenting one more challenge to leaders, but also possibly an opportunity to expand the scope of business and sources of revenue… Take advantage of this session to learn first-hand from financial leaders currently working with ACOs and bundled payment demonstration projects.

Home Care and Hospice’s Role in an Integrated Health System
This panel program of senior leaders from integrated health systems will discuss the growing and evolving role of home care and hospice in the new approaches to the delivery of care. The program will focus on what has worked and what has not. The lessons learned will include discussion of management, clinical, data, communication, and financial integration issues.

Accessing Capital:  Strategies for Funding Cash Flow Needs
To survive and thrive in today’s home care and hospice environment, access to capital may be a necessity.  Common strategies for success, such as initiatives for expansion, innovation in care delivery, and technology implementation, usually require a substantial investment of capital.  Increased compliance reviews and new regulatory requirements could delay payments and create the temporary need for cash to fund operations… This workshop will focus on creative strategies and alternatives for gaining access to capital to meet all your business goals.

To see all of this year’s Financial Management Conference Educational Sessions, please click here.

To register to attend this year’s Financial Management Conference, please click here.

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