CMS finalizes contract requirements for long-term care providers and hospice partners

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Nursing home quality could improve with better palliative care interventions, large-scale trial show
Nursing home quality could improve with better palliative care interventions, large-scale trial show

Long-term care providers will need to draw up a strictly formatted contract with their hospice care partners, according to a final rule released Thursday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The regulation clarifies the details of each contract and is effective Aug. 26.

“We believe that a clear division of responsibilities and increased communication required by this rule will help eliminate duplication of and/ or missing services,” the rule states.

In order to achieve this goal, CMS regulations now state that when establishing an agreement with a hospice provider, LTC facilities must be sure to address issues such as:

  • The services the hospice will provide
  • The hospice's responsibilities for determining the appropriate hospice care plan
  • The services the LTC facility will continue to provide based on each resident's care plan
  • A communication process, including how the communication will be documented between the LTC facility and the hospice provider, to ensure that the needs of the resident are addressed and met 24 hours per day

Providers also must have an interdisciplinary contact person with a clinical background within the facility, who will handle coordination of hospice patient care.

CMS estimates this ruling will cost $437 per facility initially, and less following that. 

To read the complete rule in the Federal Register, click here.

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