On Oct. 14, Bob Simione, of Simione Healthcare Consultants, will present a comprehensive briefing for VNAA’s Hospice Roundtable on current issues related to hospice payment. The call will take place from 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET (10:00-11:00 a.m PT). On this call, there will also be an update about VNAA’s advocacy with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Medicare Part D coverage of drugs for hospice patients, the Sept. 17 meeting with the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), and the upcoming briefing with ABT Associates on hospice payment changes. The Hospice Roundtable is open to all VNAA members and registration is now open.
On the emerging Medicare Part D issue, a CMS policy statement was recently issued specifying that no drugs received by hospice patients were to be covered by Medicare Part D. VNAA and others have argued that hospice laws and policy only require the hospice to pay for drugs related to the terminal illness. Medicare Part D coverage should remain in effect for hospice patients when a medication is required for a condition not related to the terminal illness – especially because hospice patients continue to pay their premium. CMS is reconsidering its policy and VNAA will keep members informed.
In November, ABT Associates, a CMS consulting firm conducting an analysis of the factors behind the growth in hospice utilization and possible payment reform, will brief all VNAA members on their findings. A date and time for the call is being determined and will be announced shortly.
Other updates include:
- VNAA will meet with Kim Newman, hospice analyst for MedPAC on Oct. 18 to discuss a wide range of issues.
- On Sept. 17, VNAA met with MedPAC to discuss rural hospice and home health challenges. VNAA members Norene Mostkoff (SP,Title and Agency) and Margaret Franckhouser (SP, Title and Agency), who co-chair the Hospice Roundtable, led the discussion and will report to the membership during the Oct. 14 call.
- On Sept. 18-19, leaders from CMS, MedPAC and Congress spoke to over 90 CEOS about a wide range of hospice and home health issues at the 2013 Public Policy Leadership Conference. For more information and handouts on this meeting, please go to https://vnaa.org/pplc-2013.
- On July 25, VNAA provided a comprehensive briefing to the Hospice Roundtable on changes to hospice quality measures, the Hospice Experience of Care survey and the Hospice Item Set. Materials from the briefing are available here.