BREAKING NEWS! 2019 Proposed Rule for Hospice

The unpublished FY2019 hospice payment rule is available for download at the Office of the Federal Register. There will be a 60-day comment period, so please go check it out. The final payment update will be released sometime in late July.

Once NAHC has read the rule, they will release a summary of important topics, soon.

In the meantime, here’s a summary from CMS:

  1. B. Summary of the Major Provisions

Section III.A of this proposed rule describes monitoring activities intended to identify potential impacts related to the hospice reform policies finalized in theFY 2016 Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update final rule and analyzes current trends in hospice utilization and expenditures.

Section III.B.1 of this proposed rule proposes updates to the hospice wage index with updated wage data and makes the application of the updated wagedata budget neutral for all four levels of hospice care.  In section III.B.2 of this proposed rule, we discuss the FY 2019 hospice payment update percentage of 1.8 percent.  Sections III.B.3 and III.B.4 of this proposed rule update the hospice payment rates and hospice cap amount for FY 2019 by the hospice payment update percentage discussed in section III.B.2 of this proposed rule.  We also propose regulations text changes in section III.C and section III.D pertaining to the definition of “attending physician” and “cap period.”

Finally, in section III.E of this proposed rule, we propose updates to the HQRP, including:  data review and correction timeframes for data submitted using the HIS; extension of the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) Hospice Survey participation requirements, exemption criteriaand public reporting policies to future years; procedures to announce quality measure readiness for public reporting and public reporting timelines; removal of routine public reporting of the 7 HIS measures; and public display of public use file data on the Hospice Compare website.

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