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Hospice

Information on hospice, including memos and rules from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), information on the Conditions of Participation (CoPs), information from MedPAC, and legislative, funding, and regulatory updates.

 

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RAC Audits Scaled Down by CMS

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on February 20 that it will scale down current RAC operations to complete all outstanding claims reviews and other processes before current contracts end. The Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (OMHA) decided in January, 2014, to temporarily suspend assignment of most new requests for administrative law judge (ALJ) hearings for at least 2 years. Representatives ask for an "immediate reform" of the Medicare Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) Program.

Hospice 2014 Final Rule on Payment, Quality, Coding and Hospice in Nursing Homes

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule to update the Medicare hospice wage index and Medicare hospice payment rates for fiscal year (FY) 2014. LeadingAge had submitted comments on the proposed rule published in the May 10 Federal Register that updates the fiscal year 2014 Medicare payment rates and wage index for hospice.

Medicare: ALJ Hearings Suspended on New Claim and Entitlement Appeals

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals (OMHA) has announced the temporary suspension of new administrative law judge hearings for Medicare claim and entitlement appeals. OMHA noted the backlog of 357,000 claims for Medicare services and entitlements already assigned to its 65 administrative law judges and the additional cases already pending assignment. 

Hospice: Notice from CMS on New System of Records

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a notice of a new system of records (SOR) that addresses the new "Hospice Item Set (HIS) System." Comments are due by May 8, 2014.

MedPAC: Eliminate Hospice Payment Update for 2015

The MedPAC March 2014 Report to Congress included recommendations to eliminate the update to the hospice payment rates for fiscal year 2015. There are major changes in hospice that will impact profit margins as well as clinical and operational hospice policies.