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Hospice News for the Week of 1/19/2021

MEDPAC RECOMMENDS CUTS TO HOSPICE AGGREGATE CAP   The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) met on January 14 to finalize its annual recommendations to Congress The recommendations from MedPAC are that Medicare make no increase in payment for hospices for Fiscal Year 2021, and that a 20% reduction be applied to the aggregate hospice payment […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 1/12/2021

HOME FUNERAL MOVEMENT BRINGING RESOURCES TO DEAL WITH DEATH IN FAMILY-CENTERED WAYS   An article in New York Times magazine explores “The Movement to Bring Death Closer.” The practice of home funerals allows families and loved ones to spend more time with the bodies of the deceased and share rituals that, for some, are empowering […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 1/4/2021

ARTICLE EXPLORES WHY TOO FEW KIDNEY PATIENTS CHOOSE HOSPICE   Undark features a story that explores why “Few Kidney Patients Can Access Palliative Care or Hospice.” Part of a series of articles supported in part by the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation, the article take a deep look at the needs of kidney […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 12/8/2020

COMPASSIONATE CARE ACT WELCOMED BY END-OF-LIFE SERVICE PROVIDERS AND ADVOCATES The Compassionate Care Act, sponsored by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) was introduced on December 2. The act, says a statement posted on Senator Blumenthal’s site, would “promote advance care planning and end-of-life care to ensure that patients get the care they want and that is […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 11/25/2020

HOSPICES FACE CHALLENGES OF WORKING WITH PATIENTS WHO USE CANNABIS In “Navigating Medical Cannabis Is Continuing Challenge in Hospice and Palliative Care,” author Larry Beresford examines the difficulties that patients and providers face in using and overseeing the use of cannabis. The article, published by Shively Institute for Palliative Care, explores these challenges, especially the […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 11/10/2020

MEDICARE CARE CHOICES MODEL RANKS WELL ON PATIENT SATISFACTION, QUALITY OF END OF LIFE, AND REDUCED COST   At the end of the third year of implementation, evaluations of the Medicare Care Choices Model (MCCM) have been released. In the CMS Perspective, found at the first ink below, readers are reminded that MCCM began because […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 11/4/2020

SURVEY FINDS MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PATIENTS ARE LESS PLEASED WITH END-OF-LIFE CARE THAN TRADITIONAL MEDICARE PATIENTS   An increasing number of Medicare beneficiaries choose to enroll in Medicare Advantage (MA). How has MA served patients as they die? This is the question asked by researchers who recently reported in JAMA Network Open. The researchers’ survey of […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 10/27/2020

HOSPICE PATIENT REFERRAL SITE IMPACTS HOSPICE EXPERIENCE   The site from where patients are referred to hospice tends to make a difference in their care. Findings from the Oregon State University College of Pharmacy offer information about the referral site for hospice, and call the findings “an important step toward improving the care experiences of […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 10/20/2020

PERSON-CENTERED HEALTH INFORMED BY CARE AT END OF LIFE~~ONE HOSPICE’S EFFORTS   The National Quality Forum (NQF) and the Institute of Medline have each called, in separate reports, for improving person-centered and harmless healthcare. Specifically, the NQF report, “The Care We Need: Driving Better Health Outcomes for People and Communities,” calls for reorienting “the system […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 10-06-2020

MEDPAC IDENTIFIES CONCERNS WITH HOSPICE PAYMENTS   MedPAC, in their October 1 meeting, address concerns related to the aggregate payment level for hospices and for a payment system that they believe favors longer hospice stays. They also identify “unusual utilization patterns” among some hospices. The presentation at the meeting centered on discussing these concerns and […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 9/29/2020

ORGANIZATIONAL EFFORTS NEEDED TO MITIGATE BURNOUT ON HOSPICE CARE TEAMS   A pre-pandemic study published by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health examines workplace perceptions among interdisciplinary hospice care workers. The study employed focus groups and a semi-structured interview to evaluate nurses, managers, social workers, chaplains, hospice aides, support staff, and physicians. […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 9/22/2020

COMPASSION & CHOICES ADDRESSES RACIAL DISPARITIES IN END-OF-LIFE CARE   It is important to consider the role race plays in end-of-life care and decisions. Particularly in this moment, in which we are experiencing a global pandemic and racial upheaval in our country, we must acknowledge the race-based disparities in our healthcare system. “Hispanics and people […]

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Hospice News for the week of 9/15/2020

INTERVENTION IMPROVES COMMUNICATION SCORES ON HOSPICE PROVIDER TEAM   For the first time, Medicare is providing results of consumer surveys of hospice care quality through Hospice Compare. These surveys, called Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers & Systems (CAHPS), are sent to hospice patients’ primary caregiver after death. A study published by Journal of Hospice & […]

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Hospice News for the week of 9/8/2020

PROPUBLICA EXAMINES HOSPITAL’S DISMISSAL PRACTICES DURING COVID-19   Sarah Johnson was 86 years old when admitted to Ochsner hospital in New Orleans with COVID-19. Less than 24 hours later, she was dismissed to her home to receive hospice care. ProPublica’s article, “Sent Home to Die,” explores Johnson’s end-of-life journey, as well as the practices at […]

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Weekly Hospice News for the Week of 9/1/2020

RACIAL DISPARITIES CONTINUE IN HOSPICE CARE Even as hospice utilization continues to increase, “racial disparities in the use of hospice care and the intensity of end-of-life treatment remain,” reports a JAMA article. The study, focused on better understanding of differences in the hospice experiences of Black and White patients, finds that Black patients are “significantly […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 8/25/2020

NHPCO’S “FACTS AND FIGURES” ANNUAL REPORT PROVIDES INFORMATION ON HOSPICE DATA   NHPCO’s annual report on “Facts and Figures” examines numerous areas of concern and importance to hospices. The press release on the publication quotes NHPCO’s President and CEO Edo Banach saying, “A significant concern for us at NHPCO continues to be the number of […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 8/18/2020

HHS OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL ISSUES TOP UNIMPLEMENTED RECOMMENDATIONS; THREE WITHIN THE TOP 10 PERTAIN TO HOSPICE   The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) posted its 2020 report on the top 25 unimplemented recommendations for reducing fraud, waste, and abuse in HHS programs. These come as the result of OIG audits and evaluations. They […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 8/12/2020

HOSPICE RESPITE CARE RELIEF ACT WOULD PROVIDE “A NECESSARY BREAK” FOR CAREGIVERS   Introduced by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), the COVID-19 Hospice Respite Care Relief Act of 2020 would provide further flexibilities to respite care outside of inpatient settings. “The existing limitations on Medicare’s hospice respite benefit have made […]

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HOSPICE RESPITE CARE RELIEF ACT WOULD PROVIDE “A NECESSARY BREAK” FOR CAREGIVERS   Introduced by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), the COVID-19 Hospice Respite Care Relief Act of 2020 would provide further flexibilities to respite care outside of inpatient settings. “The existing limitations on Medicare’s hospice respite benefit have made […]

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NAHC CALLS ON NATIONAL NURSING HOME COMMISSION TO ADDRESS CONCERNS ABOUT PROVISION OF HOSPICE   As the COVID-19 public health emergency continues, The National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) is calling on leaders to assure that residents of nursing homes maintain access to hospice care. CMS, NAHC says, named in June an independent […]

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