CMS revises hospice rules

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A long-term care provider and its hospice partner will need to draw up a detailed contract, according to a final rule released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and published in the Federal Register.

“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. 

When establishing an agreement with a hospice provider, LTC facilities must now be sure to address issues such as: the services the hospice will provide; the hospice's responsibilities for determining the appropriate care plan; and the services the LTC facility will continue to provide under the care plan.

The rule calls for a clear communication process, including how the communication between the LTC and hospice provider will be documented.

Providers must have an interdisciplinary contact person with a clinical background to handle coordination of hospice. This ruling will cost $437 per facility initially, CMS estimates.

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