MedPAC Consults VNAA on Potential Changes to Hospice Provided to MA Patients
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
by: VNAA Policy Team

Section: Public Policy and Advocacy

VNAA Southeast Regional Meeting Provides Timely Insight

VNAA has put together a terrific agenda of educational sessions for its Southeast Regional Meeting on Dec. 5-6 in High Point, N.C. Educational sessions will include how to approach a financial performance evaluation and target ways to improve, as well as a tutorial covering ICD-10 coding changes that will affect home health and hospice providers.

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Get the Only Clinical Manual Your Agency Needs.

Designed specifically to help multidisciplinary home health and hospice professional teams improve their ability to deliver high-quality and consistent care in one adaptable and comprehensive evidence-based manual, the 18th edition of VNAA's Clinical Procedure Manual is one you won't want to miss.

Order before Dec. 31, 2013 and receive an additional 15% off.

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Follow the Pathway to Best Practices

VNAA introduces a new quality improvement and workforce training resource, the VNAA Blueprint for Excellence. It is a designed to provide information and tools for home health organizations, payers, policymakers, researchers and others with a stake in improving care transitions.

Available at no cost, the VNAA Blueprint includes research- and practice-based tools and training, as well as measurement and evaluation resources to guide home health care practices.

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MedPAC has asked VNAA to provide input on the pros and cons of providing hospice services as an integrated part of a Medicare Advantage (MA) programs, instead of the current systems of providing MA patients with the FFS Medicare benefit. VNAA is currently conducting phone interviews with members to gain information and will meet with MedPAC in person on November 26 to discuss this proposal, and encourages members with MA experience to contact VNAA's VP for Public Policy, Kathleen Sheehan, at 202-384-1456 or Monisha Smith, Manager of Government Affairs, at 202-384-1455.

At its Nov. 8 Commission Meeting, MedPAC  noted that if Medicare Advantage provided hospice services, more patients might have access to the benefit, care coordination could be optimized and fewer program integrity problems would be anticipated. If they wished to, MA plans could offer concurrent care to beneficiaries to ease the transition to hospice care. MedPAC did note that MA beneficiaries may have a smaller number of hospices to choose from.

Currently, 14.4 million, or 28 percent, of Medicare beneficiaries are enrollees in private Medicare Advantage plans, up nearly ten percent from 2012, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The number of MA enrollees electing to get hospice coverage, meanwhile, grew from 30 percent in 2000 to 49 percent in 2011, according to MedPAC data.

For more information on MedPAC’s proposal, please see these slides and page 338 of the transcript of the November 8 meeting of the Commission.
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