CMS hospice care rule published in Federal Register

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today published its long awaited final rule governing the hospice care industry's Medicare Conditions of Participation in the Federal Register.

The new rule includes a new quality assessment requirement that focuses on a data-driven approach to quality improvement. Also found in the new rule is "explicit language on patient rights that had not existed under the previous regulations," according to CMS. These include the right to participation in treatment plans, effective pain management and the right to refuse treatment.

CMS first proposed changing the guidelines for hospice care participation in Medicare in 2005. The rule was left open for comment until the agency announced this final rule on May 27. To view the rule and other related items, visit www.cms.hhs.gov/CFCsAndCoPs/05_Hospice.asp