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  NAHC Report: Issue# 2638, 4/7/2015
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New Hospice PEPPER to Be Released April 13; Don’t Forget Forthcoming PEPPER Educational Opportunity!
NAHC Offers Hospice “Survey Readiness” Educational Opportunity
For Your Information: Financial Management Conference Call for Speakers – Deadline April 10
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New Hospice PEPPER to Be Released April 13; Don’t Forget Forthcoming PEPPER Educational Opportunity!

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), through its contractor TMF Health Quality Institute, will release the latest Hospice Program for Evaluating Payment Patterns Electronic Report (PEPPER) on Monday, April 13.  As previously reported, the PEPPER will identify additional “target areas” related to concerns about overutilization of care for beneficiaries residing in assisted living facilities (ALF).  As part of the PEPPER process, CMS and TMF Health Quality Institute identify specific “target areas” and analyze data related to those target areas.  The hospice PEPPER is available electronically and may be accessed by going to the PEPPER Resources Portal

The additional targets areas pertaining to overutilization of care for ALF beneficiaries were approved by CMS for inclusion in the PEPPER because the areas have been the subject of scrutiny by CMS, including an Office of Inspector General (OIG) report.  According to the OIG report, “Medicare payments for hospice care in ALFs more than doubled in five years, totaling $2.1 billion in 2012.  Hospices provided care much longer and received much higher Medicare payments for beneficiaries in ALFs than for beneficiaries in other settings.  This report raises concerns about the financial incentives created by the current payment system and the potential for hospices to target beneficiaries in ALFs because they may offer the hospices the greatest financial gain.”

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NAHC Offers Hospice “Survey Readiness” Educational Opportunity
Registration Currently Available for April 22 Event

In October 2014, President Obama signed The IMPACT Act into law requiring that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), for the first time ever, ensure that each Medicare-certified hospice undergo a survey at least once every 36 months.  The requirement became effective in early April 2015, so CMS and state survey agencies have been gearing up to tackle the increased survey frequency.  However, some hospices have not had a state survey since before the revised Hospice Conditions of Participation (CoP) went into effect in late 2008.  Much may have changed since the last time a surveyor came on-site to assess the hospice’s adherence to the CoP. 

In anticipation of the greater frequency of surveys and need for hospices to prepare, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is offering a 90-minute web event designed to help hospice agencies  ensure that they are survey-ready.  The session will review the CMS’ implementation plans for the IMPACT Act and walk through the hospice federal recertification survey process.  NAHC will review the steps the surveyor(s) will take and the reports, forms, and documents hospices should have on hand or have ready access to for each of these steps.  NAHC will also advise on how to handle concerns identified by the surveyor and how to manage the survey process and the surveyor(s).  For instance, what should a hospice be prepared to provide the surveyor during the entrance interview and how much time does the hospice have to supply the information to the surveyor.

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Financial Management Conference Call for Speakers – Deadline April 10

NAHC and its affiliate, Home Care and Hospice Financial Managers Association (HHFMA), has announced its annual Call for Speakers for the 2015 Financial Management Conference. The conference will be held in Nashville from June 28-30, 2015. The conference includes four extended pre-conferences and 16 Workshops in combination with four General Sessions.

With this conference, the program content is planned by the HHFMA Education Committee and the HHFMA Workgroup. As in the past, HHFMA then looks to find the best speakers to present on the planned program content.

Individuals interested in presenting at this conference should review the program content set out here. We are looking for speakers to participate at each of the pre-conferences and the 16 workshops.

If you are interested or know someone you think would make a great speaker in a pre-conference or workshop, please submit your interest to: You should include your name, organization affiliation, the specific program(s) you wish to be considered for, and credentials that outline your expertise in the selected program(s). We will consider individuals or a panel presentation depending on the nature of the topic involved.

Please remember, this is a Call for Speakers for the programs listed in the link. We are not looking for program proposals.

The deadline for submission of interest on this Call for Speakers is April 10. 

Thank you for your consideration and recommendations. We look forward to seeing all of you at the conference in Nashville.

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