Hospice

ViaQuest acquires Indiana operations of TriStar Home Health and Hospice

TriStar Home Health and Hospice, an Indiana division of Trilogy Health Services LLC, has been sold to ViaQuest Inc. The terms were not disclosed.

CMS: Hospice quality reporting to begin July 1, will require admission and discharge records

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Providers will have to report certain hospice quality measures to the federal government starting July 1, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services formally announced in a recent Federal Register notice.

Advance directives reach record levels, but this does not lead to more hospice use, researchers find

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Seniors are completing advance directives in record numbers, but this is not having the expected effect of shifting people from hospitals to hospices in their last days, say researchers from the University of Michigan and the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System.

Medicare to cover hospice and curative care simultaneously in new demonstration program

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Medicare will reimburse both hospices furnishing palliative care and providers offering curative services under a new demonstration program, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently announced.

A hospice invention that stemmed from necessity

A hospice invention that stemmed from necessity

It was the middle of the night and I was visiting a hospice patient who was in severe terminal agitation. Shouting and climbing out of bed, he was frightened and suffering. With orders to give a calming sedative, I administered the tablets rectally, as prescribed, since he was unable to swallow as most patients are in the last hours to days.

Hospice co-owner charged with upcoding, obstruction

Hospice co-owner charged with upcoding, obstruction

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An Illinois hospice company owner was charged with Medicare and Medicaid fraud after allegedly falsifying levels of care.

For-profit hospices serve more extended-stay patients, are more likely to exceed Medicare cap than nonprofits, study finds

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For-profit hospices serve more extended-stay hospice patients than nonprofits, and are much more likely to file claims that exceed Medicare's aggregate annual cap for the hospice benefit, according to newly published findings.

Nursing home-hospice relations the focus of webinar

Long-term care providers will learn how to better collaborate with hospice staff and colleagues in a hospice setting during a special webcast on Thursday. Alva S. Baker III, M.D., CMD, and Jeffrey Burl, M.D., CMD, will present "The Ins and Outs of Hospice in the Nursing Home" from 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

CMS clarifies rules regarding vaccines, respite care for hospice patients

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has loosened regulatory language regarding which providers can furnish vaccines to hospice patients, and has tightened enforcement of a five-day payment limit for respite care.

CMS clarifies reporting requirements for hospice providers operating in skilled nursing facilities

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New revisions to the Medicare Claims Processing manual are intended to clarify requirements for hospice providers operating in skilled nursing facilities, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced recently.

OIG: Hospices often out of compliance, need framing

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The Department of Health and Human Services' watchdog arm recently said hospice providers need stronger oversight measures. It also noted more than $5.8 billion in recoveries in fiscal 2013.

Inching toward success

Inching toward success

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Our brand new year is already into its second month. So chances are fairly good you have been exposed to more than a few suggestions from the success gurus.

Nursing home hospice provider kept patients in hospice for years, overbilled for their care, prosecutors charge

Nursing home hospice provider kept patients in hospice for years, overbilled for their care, prosecutors charge

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An Illinois-based hospice provider overbilled Medicare and Medicaid by inappropriately designating nursing home residents as hospice patients, sometimes for years, according to federal charges announced Monday. The hospice administrator also took money for his personal accounts and obstructed justice, the prosecutors claim.

Most long-term care workers think relatives of dying residents 'interfere,' survey shows

Most long-term care workers think relatives of dying residents 'interfere,' survey shows

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Relatives of dying residents make end-of-life care worse, according to a majority of long-term care professionals.

MedPAC endorses readmissions penalties for home health, hospice benefit for Medicare Advantage

MedPAC endorses readmissions penalties for home health, hospice benefit for Medicare Advantage

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Home health providers should be subject to Medicare reimbursement penalties based on hospital readmission rates, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.

MedPAC recommends reimbursement freeze for hospice providers

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Policymakers should freeze Medicare hospice reimbursements for 2015, according to recommendations supported by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.

CMS tightens procedures, oversight for hospice medication claims

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In light of widespread inappropriate claims, providers will face heightened scrutiny for Medicare claims for hospice medications, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services stated in a letter this week.

House and Senate ACA-replacement bills propose universal long-term care coverage

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Lawmakers in both houses of Congress have introduced a bill to institute a single-payer healthcare system that would include universal long-term care coverage.

Ask the care expert ... about hospice rules

Ask the care expert ... about hospice rules

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I heard the rules recently changed related to hospice. Do you know what will be included?

Hospice to pay $3 million to settle Medicare fraud whistleblower case

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A Florida-based hospice provider has agreed to pay $3 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit alleging false Medicare claims, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday.

SNFs receive small portion of Medicare payouts to deceased beneficiaries, report says

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Skilled nursing facilities account for few of the problematic Medicare claims that are related to beneficiaries who were deceased at the time they supposedly received services, according to a new government report.

Five LTC commissioners issue full alternative report

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Five members of the Congressional Commission on Long-Term Care have released a full report, providing an alternative to the commission report released last week. The five commissioners split with nine other panel members over that report, saying it should not be presented to Congress as the broad agreement of the group.

OIG calls for more frequent surveys for hospice providers

OIG calls for more frequent surveys for hospice providers

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Hospice providers could soon be facing more recertification surveys, if the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General has any say in it.

More hospice info wanted

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Federal regulators have added another layer of bureaucracy for hospice providers operating within skilled nursing facilities.

CMS finalizes Medicare rate updates, quality measure changes for hospices, inpatient rehabilitation facilities

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently finalized 2014 Medicare rate updates for hospices and inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and also laid out quality metrics. Hospices will receive a Medicare payment rate increase of 1.7%, which represents about $160 million in additional payments for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1, according to the rule published in today's Federal Register.

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.

CMS expands reporting requirements for hospice providers serving skilled nursing facilities

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Hospice workers who provide care for residents of skilled nursing facilities will have to provide more detailed claim data starting next year, according to recently released requirements from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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

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

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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.

Nursing home hospice doctor faces up to 25 years in jail after kickback conviction

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A federal jury recently convicted a Philadelphia physician of receiving kickbacks from a hospice provider in exchange for referring Medicare and Medicaid patients. Eugene Goldman, M.D., will be sentenced in September, and faces up to 25 years in prison.

False Claims lawsuit, government report raise questions about expensive types of hospice care

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A government lawsuit and a memorandum from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General raise questions about the two most expensive types of hospice care.

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