CMS Releases FY2020 Hospice Wage Index Proposed Rule

Categories: Policy.

On Friday, April 19, 2019, the Federal Register posted the public inspection copy of the FY2020 Hospice Wage Index proposed rule (PDF).

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposes to rebase and increase the continuous home care, inpatient respite and general inpatient levels of care, as the average cost per day of care is greater than the reimbursement.  CMS proposes to reduce the routine home care rate by -2.71% to allow the rates for the other levels of care to be adjusted in a budget neutral manner.  CMS proposes to use the current year of hospital wage index values, rather than a one-year lag, to compute the hospice wage index.  CMS proposes an addendum to the hospice election statement that would allow the patient and/or their representative to more fully understand what the hospice would cover under the Medicare hospice benefit.

The proposed rule has a significant discussion on hospice determination of relatedness and how an addendum could provide full disclosure on what the hospice covers as part of the benefit.  CMS requests information on the interaction of the Medicare hospice benefit and alternative delivery models, including ACOs, MA plans and others.

Finally, there is a discussion on hospice quality reporting with updates on quality measures and measure status as well as possible options for publicly available data to be posted on Hospice Compare.

Read the press released issued by CMS.

NHPCO members will find a comprehensive Regulatory Alert posted on the NHPCO website.