CMS Releases FY2019 Hospice Wage Index Final Rule

Categories: Policy.

On August 1, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services posted the FY2019 Hospice Wage Index Final Rule (public inspection copy). Among important information conveyed in the rule are payment rates for hospice reimbursement through Medicare.

The final rule includes a summary of the trend analysis detailed in the proposed rule, adds regulatory text to implement statutory changes adding physician assistants as hospice attending physicians, details the options for reporting of drugs on the claim form, publishes hospice rates and cap amount for FY2019, finalizes changes to the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP) and comments on a request for information on health information technology.

CMS has issued a fact sheet on the final rule, with a summary of major provisions. The final rule will publish in the Federal Register on August 6, 2018.

Provisions of the final rule are effective October 1, 2018, except for the physician assistant provision, which takes effect January 1, 2019.