Delay Medicare Advantage Hospice Carve-In Until 2023
The hospice community is seeking a two-year delay (starting no earlier than January 1, 2023) of the Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design (MA VBID) carve-in of the hospice benefit component.
The COVID-19 pandemic makes testing and accuracy of interpreting results of the provision of hospice under a new paradigm impossible. In order to ensure continuing access to hospice care and to allow for appropriate refinements to the demonstration, Congress should support legislation to delay the start of this component of the MA VBID model.
In 2019 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced plans to test inclusion of the hospice benefit component as part of the MA VBID model. We are concerned that the hospice component, as currently crafted, will limit access to care and patient choice of provider during the time of this pandemic, and will diminish the value of the hospice benefit and end of life care needed by the dying. Further, the current public health emergency (PHE) and the anticipated ongoing threat COVID-19 poses to vulnerable patients with serious terminal illness, demands that hospice agencies and personnel are able to fully focus their energies on the provision of quality care to terminally ill patients.
Despite these concerns, CMS recently indicated it plans to move forward with the demonstration in January 2021.Medicare Advantage plans represented by the Better Medicare Alliance and the hospice industry support a delay in the start of the hospice component.
Contact Congress today to express your support for a legislative delay of the Medicare Advantage-Hospice Carve-In demonstration.