Articles Posted in Hospice

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) recently proposed a rule regarding the hospice wage index for the fiscal year (“FY”) 2012 (“Proposed Rule”). The rule would result in a 2.3 percent increase in Medicare payments to hospices for FY 2012 and implement a new quality reporting system as required by the Affordable Care […]

Effective April 1, 2011, hospice and home health providers will be required to comply with the face-to-face rule for purposes of verification of a patient’s eligibility for Medicare home health services and of recertification for Medicare hospice services. Enforcement of this requirement was delayed from January 1, 2011, in order to allow home health and […]

Following a December challenge in the Northern District of Texas, the ninth circuit (Los Angeles Haven Hospice, Inc. v. Sebelius, No. 09-56391 (9th Cir. Mar. 15, 2011)) and the fifth circuit (Lion Health Servs. V. Sebelius, No. 10-10414 (5th Cir. Mar. 11, 2011)) have both ruled that the hospice cap regulation (42 CFR 418.309(b)) is […]

Section 6407 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires a face-to-face encounter for home health and hospice patients to qualify for Medicare coverage. On March 12, 13 prominent medical societies and advocacy groups sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requesting a postponement until, at least, July 1 […]

A report published in the February 2, 2011 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, compared the patient diagnoses, length of stay, and location of service for hospice patients receiving care from for-profit and not-for-profit hospices. The researchers found that for-profit hospices had a higher percentage of patients with non-cancer primary diagnoses, and […]

Last week, a lawsuit was filed in the Northern District of Texas federal court, challenging the validity of the aggregate annual cap for hospice reimbursement. Medicare provides reimbursement for hospice services rendered on a per beneficiary, per diem basis, subject to an aggregate annual cap. This cap is based upon the product of a per-beneficiary […]

On December 7, 2010, the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas refused to dismiss False Claims Act (FCA) claims against a hospice provider. The defendant, Hospice Care of Kansas, Inc. (HCK), which was purchased by defendant Voyager Hospicecare, Inc. in 2004, provides hospice care to Medicare beneficiaries. The suit contends that the defendants […]

In its November 3, 2010 release of the final 2011 Home Health Prospective Payment System (“2011 HHPPS”), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) updated its hospice recertification requirement. Beginning January 1, 2011, the Affordable Care Act requires that physicians and non-physician practitioners attest to a beneficiary’s recertification for hospice eligibility through a documented […]

The OIG will review hospice services in connection with nursing facilities. According to the Work Plan, “in a recent report, OIG found that 82 percent of hospice claims for beneficiaries in nursing facilities did not meet Medicare coverage requirements.” As a result, the OIG will look closely to nursing facilities that utilize hospice care. Furthermore, […]

On October 4, 2010, the OIG released its Work Plan for the FY of 2011. Throughout the week, we will be posting on various aspects of the Work Plan pertinent to our clients and our readers in the following areas: • Hospitals • Home Health Agencies • Hospices • Evaluation and Management Services • Imaging […]

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