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Draft Hospice Wage Index Rule Released

Late last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the proposed hospice wage index rule for comment, as well as a fact sheet on the rule. The proposal included:

  • A 2.7% payment update for FY 2020.
  • Rebasing the continuous home care (CHC), general inpatient care (GIP), and the inpatient respite care (IRC) per diem payment rates. In addition to the proposed wage index tables, CMS has developed a provider-by-provider impact simulation of the rebasing of CHC, GIP and IRC rates.
  • Modification to election statement requirements which will require the hospice to include additional information aimed at increasing coverage transparency for patients that elect hospice.
  • Shift to current hospital wage index (as opposed to previous year’s as is current practice); and
  • An RFI on incorporation of hospice into new payment models/coordination of care, specifically the CBID carve-in.  

CMS also notes it will continue its work to modernize and strengthen Medicare operations through proposals to the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP). For a summary prepared by the National Association for Home Care & Hospice, click here.

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