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  NAHC Report: Issue# 2820, 1/6/2016
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Medicare Hospice Payment Reform: Analysis of Medicare Hospice Benefit Utilization
NQF Issues Preliminary Recommendations for the HHQRP
For Your Information: 2016 Private Duty Home Care Conference
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Medicare Hospice Payment Reform: Analysis of Medicare Hospice Benefit Utilization

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently posted what it calls the December 2015 Technical Report. This report, Medicare Hospice Payment Reform: Analysis of How the Medicare Hospice Benefit is Used, contains details of hospice utilization and payment used by CMS for hospice payment reform decisions and was referenced in the preamble to the FY2016 payment rule. Much of the information is from FY2013 data. Items covered include live discharges, drug reporting on hospice claims, a comparison of visits received under hospice services and home health services, and, of course, financial analysis. Information is compared to that of the 2014 Technical Report. Both reports were prepared by and analyses completed by Abt Associates. Below is a summary of the findings in the 2015 Technical Report.

Total Medicare Utilization by Hospice Beneficiaries
These expenditures include payments made to hospices for services provided through the hospice benefit in addition to utilization of non-hospice Medicare services by beneficiaries on days in which they elected hospice. The individual non-hospice services utilized were not examined. Abt could not observe individual patients’ charts nor could it know the particulars of their medical conditions and needs. Therefore, Abt was unable to ascertain whether the non-hospice utilization observed is related or unrelated to the terminal illness and any related conditions of the beneficiary. The original intent of the hospice benefit was that the relatedness of non-hospice care would be determined on a case-by-case basis and CMS has never issued guidance, though the original Hospice Final Rule stated CMS’s belief that “hospices are required to provide virtually all care that is needed by terminally ill patients.”

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NQF Issues Preliminary Recommendations for the HHQRP

The National Quality Forum (NQF), Measure Application Partnership (MAP) has issued its preliminary recommendations on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) measures under consideration and is seeking input from the public.

The MAP is a multi-stakeholder partnership that guides the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the selection of performance measures for federal health programs. Each year CMS submits to the MAP a list of quality measures under consideration for implementation in the various federal healthcare quality reporting programs. The list submitted this year included six quality measures for the home health quality reporting program (HHQRP).

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2016 Private Duty Home Care Conference

At the Private Duty Home Care Conference, you’ll participate in education sessions on marketing and operations tactics, financial acuity, staff recruitment and retention, and more. You’ll hear from leaders and experts at lectures, roundtables, panel discussions, and more. You’ll learn from success stories and pioneering strategies with statistical analysis, data-driven forecasting, improvement studies, and more. Our conference faculty will guide you through legal and regulatory changes. We value what Private Duty brings to the industry and we support your business achievements.

The Private Duty Home Care Conference will feature one-and-half days of speakers, education sessions, and networking opportunities in charming Charleston, South Carolina where you’ll enjoy special rates at the Doubletree Hotel in the heart of the Market District. Reserve your room now to take advantage of our special low rate of $159 while rooms are still available.

This conference is where you can get real solutions to real issues. So, together we can make real progress.

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