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NAHC Report: Issue# 2491, 8/19/2014
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IN FOCUS: The FY2015 Hospice Payment Rule — Gear Up for Policy Changes! Part 1 — Timeframes for Filing of NOE/NOTR
Home Health Workers Find an Ally through Accountable Care
For Your Information: Hospice Educational Sessions at NAHC’s Annual Meeting
NAHC/Home Care & Hospice Events
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IN FOCUS: The FY2015 Hospice Payment Rule — Gear Up for Policy Changes! Part 1 — Timeframes for Filing of NOE/NOTR

Late Monday, August 4, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule governing hospice payment for fiscal year (FY) 2015: Medicare Program; FY 2015 Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update; HospiceQuality Reporting Requirements and Process and Appeals for Part D Payment for Drugs for Beneficiaries Enrolled in Hospice. PLEASE NOTE: this link will no longer work after publication of the final rule in the Federal Register, which is scheduled for Friday, August 22.

The rule includes final payment rate information for the forthcoming federal fiscal year. It also finalizes some key hospice policy changes and reminds hospices that other, previously-announced changes will become effective on October 1, 2014. If hospices have not previously begun to prepare, they are advised to do so now.

Imminent hospice policy changes addressed in the final regulation are as follows:

  • Timeframes for Filing the Notice of Election (NOE) and Notice of
  • Termination/Revocation (NOTR)
  • Timeframe for Hospice Cap Determination and Overpayment Remittance
  • Addition of the Attending Physician to the Hospice Election Form
  • Coding Guidelines for Hospice Claims Reporting
  • FY2015 Final Payment Rates

This article provides in-depth focus on policy changes related to timeframes for filing the NOE and NOTR. Future articles will address other forthcoming changes.

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Home Health Workers Find an Ally through Accountable Care
The following article first appeared in CARING, and is written by Roy Beveridge, MD, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer with Humana.

Here’s an all-too-common scenario in today’s health care: “Robert” is a dementia patient who’s been hospitalized after a fall. He has multiple ongoing health issues, is being fed through a tube, and feels confused. Physicians have just told Robert’s anxious family he will not improve physically or mentally. After his discharge, they’ll face the daunting prospect of figuring out how to care for him.

Every day, millions of families face this sort of dilemma: a loved one whose need for complex care exceeds a family’s ability to manage it. This is one aspect of the current crisis in American health care related to home health: we have more people in need of extended health care services than we have beds in our nursing care facilities or trained home health care workers to care for them in their homes. There’s no one solution to this issue, but there are those of us working on a way to address it as well as one of the other confounding aspects of contemporary health care — the lack of coordination among the various entities involved in caring for patients like Robert. 

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Hospice Educational Sessions at NAHC’s Annual Meeting

This year’s Annual Meeting features track-specific educational sessions, informative round table discussions and much, much more. Below are some of the sessions included in this year’s Hospice Track:

  • How to Ensure Compliance, Program Integrity, and More
  • How to Develop and Grow Successful Palliative Care Programs
  • How to Meet the Financial and and Data Requirements of The New Hospice Report
  • How to Prepare for Hospice Payment Reform: Where it Stands and How Hospices Can Prepare

Visit the NAHC website for full descriptions and to register for the conference!

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