In recent years, CMS has put a lot of emphasis on tracking costs in the hospice industry. Now, hospices can lose Medicare payments if they don’t file reports; however, because there are no penalties for inaccurate reporting, hospices struggle to spend much time on them. In fact, there isn’t even a mechanism used to catch easily apparent errors. For fiscal year 2015, CMS has created a new cost report for freestanding clinics. Experts say that similar reporting for provider-based hospices will soon be introduced. The new reports will go through two levels of edits and the reports that don’t meet the standards will be returned for correction.
The new cost reports will be based on four levels of care: routine home care, general inpatient care, inpatient respite care, and continuous care. It is estimated that compiling information and submitting reports will take about 180 hours. Also, because the new report requires a greater level of detail, hospices will have to overhaul their chart of accounts. Experts hope the makeover will help unify industry standards for reporting costs.
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