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  NAHC Report: Issue# 2824, 1/12/2016
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Hospice Action Alert: Urge Congress to Reject Inclusion of Hospice Under the Medicare Advantage Benefit Package
NAHC Final Comments Submitted on Revisions to the Discharge Planning Requirements
For Your Information: 2016 Private Duty Home Care Conference
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Hospice Action Alert: Urge Congress to Reject Inclusion of Hospice Under the Medicare Advantage Benefit Package
Comments Due to Congress by January 26

As previously reported in the December 29, 2015, edition of NAHC Report (available here), the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance released a white paper on chronic care titled, “Bipartisan Chronic Care Working Group Policy Options Document,” summarizing key policy options the Committee is considering to improve care for the millions of Americans managing chronic illness.

One of the policies under consideration by the Committee is requiring Medicare Advantage (MA) plans to offer the hospice benefit provided under traditional Medicare. This is not a new consideration; in late 2013, MedPAC initiated discussion on the advisability of incorporating hospice as part of the MA benefit package, and MedPAC has since voted to recommend that legislation be enacted that would incorporate hospice coverage under MA. MedPAC’s rationale is based on the following:

  • Concerns about the complexity of current coverage rules for MA patients that elect hospice;
  • The desire for greater symmetry in Medicare coverage regardless of whether a beneficiary receives Medicare under fee-for-service, through an accountable care organization (ACO) or through a MA plan;
  • The belief that MA plans should have full responsibility for coverage of Medicare benefits, including responsibility for coverage of all care delivered at the end of life; and
  • The possibility that MA plans may be willing to offer additional services to patients who elect hospice – such as concurrent care – that is not available under standard Medicare coverage.

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NAHC Final Comments Submitted on Revisions to the Discharge Planning Requirements

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has submitted final comments on the proposed rule for the Revisions to Requirements for Discharge Planning for Hospitals, Critical Access Hospitals, and Home Health Agencies.

The proposed rule was issued, for the most part, to implement the discharge planning requirements in the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act). The Act requires the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to modify the conditions of participation (CoPs) and subsequent interpretive guidance to require providers to take into account quality, resource use, and other measures in the discharge planning process. CMS proposes specific requirements for the discharge planning process and extensive elements for a discharge/transfer summary.

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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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