Home Care & Hospice Community Encouraged by CMS’ Proposed 2012 Hospice Wage Index
For additional information:
Barbara D. Woolley
WASHINGTON D.C. (April 29, 2011) The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) today commented on the positive changes proposed by CMS in the Medicare Program: Hospice Wage Index for Fiscal Year 2012 report:
The proposals set forth by CMS for 2012 hospice care are an encouraging first step toward improving access to the valuable care that millions of Americans depend on, said Val J. Halamandaris, NAHCs president. By modifying the current calculation of the hospice cap, caregivers will have more flexibility to account for the various patient needs they meet every day. In addition, by allowing for some flexibility and clarification within the face-to-face encounter rule for hospice care, caregivers and patients can better work together to meet the requirement with as little disruption to care as possible.
While these changes begin to move us in the right direction, we need to build on this momentum and continue to find ways to advance and improve care, not stifle it. We therefore look to Congress to ensure that hospices receive a full market basket inflation update (as reflected in CMS proposal) so that they can continue to provide vital services to individuals at the end of life. We look forward working with CMS to strike the appropriate balance of ensuring responsible oversight, while preserving appropriate access to these important services.
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is a nonprofit organization that represents the nations 33,000 home care and hospice organizations. NAHC also advocates for the more than two million nurses, therapists, aides and other caregivers employed by such organizations to provide in-home services each year to some 10 million Americans who are infirm, chronically ill, disabled and dying. Along with its advocacy, NAHC is committed to excellence in every respect and provides information to help its members maintain the highest quality of care. To learn more about NAHC, visit www.nahc.org and www.caring.org.