Hospice

CMS updates coding instructions for hospice site of service, principal diagnosis

CMS updates coding instructions for hospice site of service, principal diagnosis

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A new Medicare hospice manual update includes instructions for which principal diagnosis codes are acceptable, and clarifies which codes should be used for services in a skilled versus non-skilled nursing facility. Billing staffs should be aware of these changes, which go into effect Oct. 1, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services stated in an educational memorandum sent Friday via email.

Also in the news for September 2, 2014 . . .

Inspectors cite LA nursing homes for dangerous practices but supervisors change reports to benefit facilities ... Feds join whistleblower suit charging that hospice billed for ineligible patients ... Magnetic pulses to the head could boost memory in people with Alzheimer's, Northwestern researchers say

CMS changes mind on hospice drugs

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The Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services has revised guidance on authorization of hospice drugs for those under Medicare Advantage and Part D plans, according to a new memo.

Accepting what nurses cannot fix

Accepting what nurses cannot fix

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Like perhaps many of you, I come from a long line of "fixers." Multiple people whose schedules are conflicting? We'll coordinate. Someone isn't able to find a job? We'll provide help on their resume and introduce them around. A friend needs a boyfriend? Let me show you my multi-step PowerPoint plan.

Also in the news for June 13, 2014 . . .

Senators ask for provider input on healthcare data availability ... "Frailty index" can help predict post-surgery SNF admission ... Hospice association sues CMS over documentation rule ... Complex nursing home embezzlement case can go to trial

Hospice care scrutinized

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Medicare would increase hospice reimbursements by 1.3% in fiscal year 2015 under a payment rate proposed in May. This would be a $230 million boost, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

A blessing within the loss

A blessing within the loss

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This is a very hard blog for me to write. My mother just passed away. It was very sudden and not expected. I am blessed to have two mothers: A step-mother who has been in my life since I have been 8 years old (the nurse I often speak of and call "Mom") and "Mother" who just passed. But the reason I am writing this is not to garner sympathy or share my pain, but to share a rare experience that I think only those of us in healthcare may understand.

All veterans would be eligible for VA hospice care under House bill

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All veterans would be entitled to hospice care if recently introduced federal legislation becomes law. Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) introduced the "Care for Our Heroes Act" Thursday in the House of Representatives.

Dreams or delirium? Why making the right call is important

Dreams or delirium? Why making the right call is important

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As they approach death, people often are transported across time and space to be reunited with loved ones and relive meaningful moments. They do so in dreams and visions, which frequently are a source of great comfort, according to a recently published study. But nursing home and hospice caregivers might not be so comfortable with these dreams — which could lead to patients experiencing less peaceful deaths.

Also in the news for May 23, 2014 . . .

2 more arrests in Cochran nursing home photo scandal ... AHA sues over Medicare claims backlog ... PA hospice received millions through fraudulent billings, gov't charges ... Chemical plants could pose unknown dangers to nursing homes, report suggests

Nursing homes trail hospitals in quality improvement, AHRQ report shows

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About 60% of nursing home quality measures have been showing significant year-to-year improvement, but hospitals have been improving more quickly, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Nursing homes suffering from reimbursement shifts to home care, market analysis finds

Nursing homes suffering from reimbursement shifts to home care, market analysis finds

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Reimbursement is shifting to home health, hurting the finances of skilled nursing facilities, a newly released market analysis states.

Medicare hospice payments set to increase; Washington Post ties payment system to lack of care for suffering patients

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A troubling proportion of hospices fail to provide skilled nursing care to patients approaching death or who are experiencing a crisis such as increased pain, according to a lengthy Washington Post article published Saturday. The Post report appeared one day after the government proposed increasing Medicare hospice payments in 2015.

Hospice, curative care paid together in new program

Hospice, curative care paid together in new program

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Seniors will not have to stop curative care to receive hospice benefits under a new demonstration program, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently announced.

This American Life ... and death: Superb shows about hospice

This American Life ... and death: Superb shows about hospice

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A few months after Pattie Burnham started working as a hospice nurse, she forgot the name of the president of the United States. That's normal, her boss told her.

Palliative possibilities: Therein lies the rub

Palliative possibilities: Therein lies the rub

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When a patient is referred to therapy, and they are receiving hospice care, then therapy needs to seek permission from the hospice company to provide any treatment. Hospice is required to reimburse the facility for the therapy services since the treatment also is included in the bundled payment rate from Medicare Part A. And, therein lies the rub.

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.

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