Hospices see Medicare payment increase

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Medicare payments to hospice providers had a slight boost in 2013, according to a regulator notice released Tuesday. These providers also should be preparing to report quality data and additional diagnosis on hospice claims.

Medicare payments will jump by 0.9%, or $140 million, under the hospice wage index payment update.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has told providers that they need to start collecting quality data in October 2012 in order to submit the data to CMS in 2013. The agency warned that providers that fail to do this will see a their market basket update cut by 2% in FY 2014.

The CMS notice also clarified diagnosis reporting policies that are a part of broader hospice payment reform. According to CMS, hospice providers “should report on hospice claims all coexisting or additional diagnoses that are related to the terminal illness; they should not report coexisting or additional diagnoses that are unrelated to the terminal illness.”

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said it will publish the notice in the Federal Register on July 27.

Click here to read the full notice.