Attention Hospices: Registration For National Provider Call Now Open

The Hospice Quality Reporting Program National Provider Call scheduled by CMS is on June 17, 2015, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. EST.

During this call, CMS will discuss the new Hospice Item Set (HIS) Manual (V1.02), with a focus on updates that were made to the HIS Manual from V1.01 to V1.02 and provide clarifications of HIS definitions and expectations for use. Providers should review V1.02, which will be available on the HIS website prior to the call.

Click here to register.

Additional information:

Event:  Hospice Quality and Hospice Item Set Manual V1.02

Topic:  Hospice Quality Reporting Program

When:  Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Time:  1:30 PM – 3:00 PM Eastern Time

Click here for more info.

CMS Reissues Hospice CR 9114

CMS has rescinded Change Request 9114 (originally issued April 3) and has posted a replacement CR 9114. Additionally, a related Medlearn Matters article has also been posted.

CMS’ action is in response to concerns that the original issuance on April 3 was inconsistent with statements issued as part of the final hospice payment rule for FY 2015 relating to requirements surrounding designation of the attending physician. The final rule that was published in August 2014 suggested that in clearly identifying the attending physician the election statement should include the physician’s name, address or NPI. The April 3 CR indicated that the physician’s name and NPI must be included on the election statement.

In the reissued CR 9114, CMS “has revereted to the language included in the final rule. Because the new attending physician requirements were effective October 1, 2014 and the new language is reflective of what was included in the final payment rule, the effective date of changes in the revised CR9114 is October 1, 2014.”

NAHC has included two excerpts from the new CR 9114 on the attending physician designation to represent language that will be incorporated in Chapter 9 of the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual.

Click here to read more from NAHC.

New Legislation Introduced To Refine Hospice F2F Requirements

New legislation (HR 2208, The Hospice Commitment to Accurate and Relevant Encounters ACT – Hospice CARE) has been introduced to address “key issues related to the requirement that hospice providers conduct a face-to-face encounter with patients entering their third or subsequent benefit period to gather information that helps support documentation for continuing eligibility for hospice care.” The legislation would make the following changes into law:

  • It would allow any of the following practitioners to conduct the hospice face-to-face encounter: hospice physician, nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, or physician assistance, or other health professional as designated by HHS.
  • In cases of a new readmission to hospice care where exceptional circumstances exist, it would allow the face-to-face encounter occur no later than seven calendar days after the individual’s election of services.

Click here to read more.

NAHC Develops “IN FOCUS” Series To Provide In-Depth Coverage Of FY 2016 Hospice Payment Rule

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) published an initial overview of the proposed FY 2016 Hospice Payment Rule in NAHC Report on May 1, 2015. However, in order to provide more in-depth coverage, NAHC is developing a series of “IN FOCUS” articles that will be published over the next few weeks. Part 1 of the series has been published. Click here to see it. Part 1 focuses on hospice diagnosis reporting and CMS’ expectations of hospice responsibilities in this regard.

CMS Posts Hospice HIS Updates & Announces Training For June 17

CMS has scheduled training on the Hospice Item Set (HIS) for Wednesday, June 17 from 1:30pm to 3:00 p.m. EST,

The training will cover updates that were made to the HIS Manual from V1.01 to V.02. Updates to the HIS Manual, and the related HIS training, will provide clarifications of HIS item definitions and expectations for use.

Providers cannot register for the MLN Connects National Provider Call yet. However, instructions for registration will be posted on the MLN National Provider Calls and Events webpage, and on the CMS HQRP HIS website.

Additionally,  CMS posted the HIS Q + A document for the first quarter of 2015. Click here for additional information.

Click here to read more.

CMS Releases A Proposed Hospice Payment Rule

CMS has released a proposed payment rule for fiscal year (FY) 2016 that address payment reform of the routine home care (RHC) level of care by providing a differential payment of two separate rates. One rate is for care provided from day one through day 60 of an episode of hospice care and another for days 61 and after.

In the proposed rule, CMS also provides for a Service Intensity Add-on (SIA) that would be added to RHC payment for RN and social work visits provided during the last seven days of life. The rule “conveys CMS’ intent to transition the hospice Cap year to the federal fiscal year and implement the alternative method for annual updates to the aggregate Cap mandated by the IMPACT Act, signals CMS’ future intent relative to public reporting of hospice quality data, and clarifies that hospice programs must submit on claims all diagnoses (related or unrelated) of patients under their care.”

NAHC is currently conducting an in-depth analysis of the proposed regulation and its potential impact on hospices.

Click here to see the proposed rule.

Click here for more details from NAHC.

Medicare To Pay Hospices $200 Million More In 2016

CMS is proposing that hospices get a 1.3% rate increase from Medicare in a newly issued rule. The rule means Medicare would spend $200 million more on hospices in 2016 than in 2015.

CMS is also using the rule is clarify how to properly document a diagnosis on claims forms. CMS said it is “concerned that some hospices are neither conducting a comprehensive assessment nor updating the plan of care as articulated by the conditions of participation to recognize the conditions that affect an individual’s terminal prognosis.”

Under the new rule, hospices would be required to report all diagnoses identified in initial and comprehensive assessments on hospice claims – whether they are related or unrelated to the patient’s terminal prognosis.

Click here to read more.

CMS Issues Hospice Quality Updates

CMS has issued updates related to both components of the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP) – the Hospice Item Set (HIS) and the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS).

CMS has issued three new CASPER reports for the HIS, and, in relation to the CAHPS hospice survey, a reminder that hospices must complete and submit the CAHPS Hospice Survey Vendor Authorization Form by May 1. CMS has also released a CAHPS Hospice Survey FACT Sheet and updated the FAQ page.

Click here for more details.

Attention Hospices: CMS To Reissue CR 9114

Last week, NAHC received notification from staff at CMS that CMS plans to reissue Change Request (CR) 9114. The reissue is in response to concerns and questions many have raised about the requirement that hospices include the name and National Provider Identifier (NPI) number of the attending physicians on the patient’s election statement. NAHC has previously expressed concerns to CMS about the original language and sought clarification after it was released.

From NAHC:

The following is the previously issued language to be revised:

“Information identifying the attending physician recorded on the election statement should provide enough detail so that it is clear which physician or Nurse Practitioner (NP) was designated as the attending physician. This must include, but is not limited to, the attending physician’s name and NPI number.”

Here is the revised language:

“Information identifying the attending physician recorded on the election statement should provide enough detail so that it is clear which physician or Nurse Practitioner (NP) was designated as the attending physician.  This information should include, but is not limited to, the attending physician’s full name, office address, NPI number, or any other detailed information to clearly identify the attending physician.”

Click here for more information from NAHC.

NAHC Offers Hospice “Survey Readiness” Educational Opportunity

Last year, President Obama signed The IMPACT Act into law requiring CMS to ensure that each Medicare-certified hospice undergoes a survey once every 36 months. This requirement became effective in early April 2015, allowing CMS and state survey agencies time to gear up to tackle the increased survey frequency.

Some hospices have not had a state survey since before the revised Hospice Conditions of Participation (CoP) went into effect in late 2008. Therefore, these agencies may have changed since the last time a surveyor assessed its adherence to the CoP.

NAHC is offering a 90-minute web event to help hospice agencies ensure they are survey ready. The session will review CMS’s implementation plans for the IMPACT Act and walk through the hospice federal recertification survey process.  Additionally, NAHC will review the steps the surveyors will take and the reports, forms and other documents hospices should have ready.

The web event, “Hospice Survey Preparedness and Readiness,” is scheduled for Wednesday, April 22, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Eastern).

Click here to register for the event.

Click here to read more from NAHC.