An Analysis and Commentary on Federal Health Care Issues by Larry Goldberg

CMS Publishes Final FY 2020 Hospice Wage Index, Payment Rates and Quality Reporting Requirements

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have issued a final rule that will update hospice payment rates, wage index values, and quality reporting items for fiscal year (FY) 2020. These regulations are effective on October 1, 2019.

This rule also rebases the continuous home care, general inpatient care, and the inpatient respite care per diem payment rates in a budgetneutral manner “to more accurately align Medicare payments with the costs of providing care.”

This rule changes the hospice wage index to remove the 1-year lag in data by using the current year’s hospital wage data to establish the hospice wage index.

In addition, the rule modifies the election statement by requiring an addendum that includes information aimed at increasing coverage transparency for a patient under a hospice election. Finally, the rule includes changes to the Hospice Quality Reporting Program.

The 211-page document is scheduled for publication in the Federal Register on August 6. A copy is currently available at: https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2019-16583.pdf. This link will change upon publication.


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