Hospice

News & Analysis as of

Recent OIG Audits of Home Health and Hospice Surveys May Signal Increased Scrutiny on Worker Qualifications

Recent audits by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) conclude that state survey agencies in a number of states and a leading national accrediting agency serving the home health and...more

Washington Healthcare Update

This Week: House Ways & Means Committee Holds Markup; Makes Significant Legislative Changes to Health Care Bills... Senate Finance Committee Holds Markup on Medicare Appeals Process Bill... CMS Issues Final Rule on...more

Washington Healthcare Update

This Week: House E&C 21st Century Cures Bill Passes Unanimously Out of Committee... House Votes to Codify Permanent R&D Tax Credit... CMS Released Proposed Rule Concerning Medicaid and CHIP Plans....more

CMS Proposes Updates to Medicare Hospice Wage Index/Rates for FY 2016

CMS published a proposed rule on May 5, 2015 that would update Medicare hospice payment rates and the wage index for fiscal year (FY) 2016. CMS estimates that the proposed rule would increase overall payments to hospices by...more

CMS Call on Hospice Quality Reporting (June 17)

CMS is hosting a June 17, 2015 provider call to discuss the Hospice Quality Reporting Program and the new Hospice Item Set (HIS) Manual (V1.02). The target audience includes quality staff at Medicare-certified hospice...more

CMS Proposes Payment Reform/Cap Adjustments

On April 30, 2015, CMS released its FY 2015 Hospice Wage Index, including long anticipated payment reform and some changes to the hospice cap calculation. Comments are due by June 29. Here is an initial summary and...more

CMS Issues Proposed Rule Raising Hospice Provider Payments in FY 2016

On April 30, 2015, CMS issued a proposed rule that would give hospices serving Medicare beneficiaries an estimated 1.3 percent ($200 million) increase in their FY 2016 payments. Comments on the proposed rule are due by June...more

Washington Healthcare Update

This Week: House E&C Releases Discussion Draft of 21st Century Cures Legislation Ahead of Legislative Hearing... FDA Finalizes Biosimilar Guidance Documents... CMS Updates Wage Index and Payment Rates for the Medicare Hospice...more

False Claims Act – 2014 Year in Review

The False Claims Act (FCA) imposes liability on individuals and companies who defraud or submit false claims to the federal government. The FCA allows the federal government to seek treble damages, civil penalties and...more

Hospice Provider Pays $4 Million to Settle Allegations of Fraudulent Billing

Good Shepherd Hospice, Inc., a for-profit hospice providing services in Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, and Texas (“Good Shepherd”), has agreed to pay $4 million to the U.S. government to settle allegations that it submitted...more

OIG Report Outlines Five Recommendations for Hospice Care Reform

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) to reform the hospice payment system, collect data relevant to revising hospice payments and develop quality...more

Gear Up for Increased CMS Scrutiny of Hospice Services for Assisted Living Facility Residents - EndNotes February 2015

A recent study issued by the evaluation and policy division of the U.S. DHHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) indicates that hospices can expect increased scrutiny regarding the services they provide to assisted living...more

Happy New Year from the DC District Court - Companionship Exemption Lives On!! - EndNotes February 2015

Home care patients, caregivers and the entire home care community celebrated a huge victory to kick off 2015. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (DC court) vacated the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL’s)...more

End Notes Newsletter February 2015 - News for North Carolina’s Hospice and Palliative Care Community

In this issue: - Gear Up for Increased CMS Scrutiny of Hospice Services for Assisted Living Facility Residents - Happy New Year from the DC District Court - Companionship Exemption Lives On!! - DEA Rules On...more

OIG Report Recommends Reforms to Reduce Hospice Incentives to Provide Care in Assisted Living Facilities

On January 14, 2015, OIG published a report that analyzes Medicare payments for hospice care in assisted living facilities (ALFs). OIG concluded that CMS should implement measures to reform Medicare payments to hospices,...more

OIG Questions Incentives for Hospice Care in Assisted Living Facilities

Today the OIG issued a report examining the growing use of Medicare hospice care in the assisted living facility (ALF) setting. According to the OIG, Medicare payments for hospice care in ALFs grew by more than 119% from 2007...more

OIG Recommends Greater Scrutiny for Hospice Services in ALFs

The OIG’s recently released study examining Medicare hospice claims from 2007 to 2012 calls for targeted reviews of hospices that receive a high proportion of their payments for care in assisted living facilities....more

Certificate of Need Opportunities in 2015

While many of us were shopping for last-minute gifts for our families, Governor McCrory was busy approving the 2015 State Medical Facilities Plan (“SMFP”). The SMFP is a document created annually by the State Health...more

CMS Announces DMEPOS/Home Health/Hospice RAC, Improvements to RAC Process

CMS has announced that it has awarded the Region 5 Recovery Audit contract to Connolly, LLC (although the General Accounting Office subsequently reported that a bid protest has been filed regarding this award). The purpose of...more

CMS Announces Updated List of RAC Program Improvements For New Contracts, Beginning With the Newly Awarded DME, Home Health, and...

On December 30, 2014, CMS announced that it has awarded a new Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) contract to Connolly LLC to identify improper Medicare payments nationwide made to suppliers of durable medical equipment,...more

Recent Changes to California Medical Information Privacy Laws Create More Flexibility and Give Rise to Increased Enforcement

Under California Health & Safety Code (HSC) sections 1280.15(a) and (b), California licensed clinics, hospitals, home health agencies and hospices are required to prevent “unlawful or unauthorized access to, and use or...more

Tennessee CON Report - November 2014

In This Issue: - I. November 2014—Tennessee Certificate of Need Meeting - II. Certificate of Need Program Report—Filings Since October 2014 Meeting - III. Projects Deemed Complete for Review at December...more

Alabama CON Report - November 2014

In This Report: - I. Certificate of Need Program - II. Reviewability Determinations and Pending Reviewability Determinations Excerpt from Certificate of Need Program: A. AL2014-030, Redstone...more

OIG's 2015 Work Plan Highlights Departmental Priorities

Each year the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General (OIG) issues its Work Plan to identify for the provider community the key fraud and abuse issues on which it will focus on in the coming...more

The Game Plan for Health Care Enforcement: Office of Inspector General Releases 2015 Work Plan

The Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) within the federal Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) is charged with protecting the integrity of HHS programs by combating fraud, abuse and waste. On Halloween of 2014,...more

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