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Hospice News for the Week of 12/10/19

MEDPAC PRESENTATION CALLS FOR NO HOSPICE RATE INCREASES AND REDUCTION IN AGGREGATE CAP   The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) held its public meeting on December 5-6, 2019. MedPAC makes recommendations to Congress each year on the adequacy of hospice (and other provider) payments, and on action the Congress should consider.   In the December […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 12-3-2019

AUTHORS SAY INPATIENT HOSPICE ENDANGERED BY MEDICARE REGULATIONS
IN-HOME PALLIATIVE CARE CAN BE A POWERFUL INTERVENTION

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Hospice News for the Week of 11-19-19

WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE HOLDS TESTIMONY ON “CARING FOR AGING AMERICANS”

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Hospice News for the Week of 11-12-19

SPECIAL NOTE:  HNN newsletter, on October 29, 2019, shared a summary of updates from the October 25, 2019 Oregon POLST Program News. National POLST contacted HNN to correct inaccuracies in the Oregon POLST Newsletter covered in the recent HNN article. The National POLST response addresses “Oregon POLST’s separation from National POLST;” “Developing a uniform POLST form;” and, “Designation […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 11-1-2019

SPECIAL NEWS OF NOTE   The US House passed the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA), HR 647. PCHETA now advances to the Senate and advocates are hopeful for swift advancement. (C-TAC, 10/28, https://www.thectac.org/2019/10/palliative-care-and-hospice-education-and-training-act-passed-by-u-s-house/)   OREGON POLST AIRS ISSUES OF CONCERN   Oregon POLST shares program news that addresses numerous updates from […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 10-22-19

STUDY REVEALS THAT “FIGHTING A BATTLE” WITH SERIOUS ILLNESS MAY CREATE MORE HARM THAN GOOD “When it comes to cancer and other serious diseases, we often rely on words of aggression and tenacity,” says an article in USC News. “Patients are ‘fighters,’ and those who experience remission or return to good health are ‘survivors.’ Obituaries […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 10-15-19

MEDPAC DISCUSSES REDUCTION TO HOSPICE AGGREGATE CAP

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Hospice News for the Week of 10-08-19

INCLUSIVE HOSPICE CARE FOR PATIENTS WITH OBESITY   More patients with obesity are enrolling in hospice care though hospice providers are not always well-equipped to provide targeted care to this group. “Hospice often cares for patients who are underweight or emaciated due to advanced disease or chronic illness, which can contribute to the lack of […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 10-01-19

Welcome to these new hospice provider members: A Healing Touch Hospice – Weslaco
At Home Health Care Hospice – Houston

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Hospice News for the Week of 9-24-19

ARTICLE SHARES NEW MODEL FOR ASSESSMENT OF SPIRITUAL NEEDS AT END-OF-LIFE   The Journal of Palliative Medicine covers the development of a new model, PC-7, for scoring religious/spiritual (R/S) needs in palliative care patients at the end-of-life. “The aim of this project was to develop an evidence-based model for spiritual assessment, specific to adult palliative […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 9-18-2019

NHPCO RELEASES “HOSPICE PROGRAM INTEGRITY INITIATIVES”   NHPCO released integrity guideline for hospice care. The release is part of their role in providing assistance to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG), and Congress in “helping to stop fraud and abuse before it occurs and embracing any new […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 9-10-2019

ALTERNATIVE PAYMENT MODELS AND THE SERIOUSLY ILL; RESEARCH AND TRAINING PREPARE PHYSICIANS TO GIVE CULTURALLY TARGETED CARE

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Weekly Hospice News 9-3-19

ARTICLE ADDRESSES CALIFORNIA HOSPICE CONCERNS AND INVESTIGATIONS   On 8/28, the Sacramento Bee published “California hospices face lax oversight and few rules. The sick and dying pay the price.” The story begins by sharing the experience of one hospice patient as seen through the eyes of her daughter, Tracy Sellers. Within a day of her […]

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SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS AND MORE EDUCATION NEEDED TO BEST SUPPORT LGBTQ PATIENTS AT END OF LIFE   Though an LGBTQ individual has more or less the same needs as a heterosexual or cisgender person at the end of their lives, they often receive subpar care. This can be true across all settings: a hospital, a nursing […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 8-20-19

NEW RECOMMENDATIONS FOR HOW POLICY LEADERS CAN IMPROVE PALLIATIVE CARE IN THEIR STATES

 

Though palliative care treatment effectively improves both quality of life and quality of care for patients, and at a lower cost than traditional care, the numbers for patients receiving palliative care is still low. In fact, according to an article in Health Affairs, “Fewer than 5 percent of individuals who could benefit from palliative care receive it.” “States, which spend more than 50 percent of their Medicaid budgets on 5 percent of beneficiaries with complex conditions, are increasingly interested in palliative care and the value it brings to systems that support individuals with serious illnesses.”

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Hospice News for the Week of 8-13-19

MANY FACTORS CAN COMPLICATE A PATIENT’S DECISION TO PURSUE LATE-STAGE CANCER INTERVENTIONS
EXPERTS SHARE POINTS OF “NETIQUETTE” FOR FACING DEATH AND GRIEVING ONLINE
Two new hospice training videos are available on the CMS website. The courses, which are designed to be taken at any participant’s pace, offer detailed training on the Hospice Quality Reporting System (HQRP).

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Hospice News for the Week of 8-6-19

On July 31, CMS issued the final rule (CMS-1714-F) on the hospice wage index. The rule, says a CMS announcement, “demonstrates continued commitment to strengthening Medicare by better aligning the hospice payment rates with the costs of providing care and increasing transparency so patients can make more informed choices.”

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Hospice News for the Week of 7-23-19

BJ MILLER WRITES “WHAT A DOCTOR WISHES PATIENTS KNEW ABOUT THE END”   “As a hospice and palliative medicine physician, my job is to help reduce suffering. At the end of life, that job becomes especially intense when time is short, when machines and data seem to be taking over, and so many intense emotions […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 7-16-2019

Key recommendations include the following. CMS should strengthen surveys of hospice. Medicare should ask Congress for more authority to “go after” poor performing hospices. Medicare should also, say the studies, “strengthen the state survey process to focus on problem hospices.” Further, payment to hospices should be tied to quality of care provided instead of paying a flat daily rate.

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Hospice News for the Week of 7-9-2019

SERVICE DIVERSIFICATION IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE IN FACE OF EVOLVING HOSPICE CARE DEMANDS   The hospice industry is changing, and hospices must make smart changes to their business models in response, Hospice News reports in their white paper report “Top Strategies For Diversifying Hospice Services.” Important industry shifts that should be taken into account include […]

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