President Obama Signs IMPACT Act Bringing Valuable Oversight to Hospices

Categories: Policy.

Yesterday afternoon, President Obama signed into law the “Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014” (IMPACT Act) that includes provisions creating greater oversight and increased transparency within the hospice community. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization heralds the passage of this legislation and the additional oversight it will bring to end-of-life care providers.

The provisions that affect hospice providers are:

1.  Mandated surveys of Medicare certified hospice providers at least every three years for the next ten years at the minimum.

2.  Medical reviews for hospice programs with a soon to be determined percentage/number of patients receiving care for more than 180 days. The specific patient load that would trigger this medical review will be set by CMS.

3.  Hospice aggregate financial cap will be aligned with hospice reimbursement using a common inflationary index that will not change hospice reimbursement for providers.

“As hospice and palliative care providers, we care for patients and families at one of life’s most vulnerable times.  Americans need to know that all Medicare-certified providers are committed to the highest standards of quality and compliance.  This new law strengthens oversight and transparency throughout the entire hospice community,” said J. Donald Schumacher, NHPCO president and CEO. “NHPCO applauds President Obama for signing the IMPACT Act into law.”

 “Under NHPCO’s leadership, the hospice community has been on the frontlines of advocating for increased transparency, program integrity, and accountability. We believe that the hospice provisions included in the IMPACT Act are critically important steps in this direction,” stressed Schumacher.

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Recent media articles about this historic legislation involving the hospice community: