Understanding the Medicare Care Choices Model

Categories: Policy.

The Medicare Care Choices Model (MCCM) is a new opportunity for hospice providers to test whether palliative care services provided to patients eligible, but not enrolled, in the Medicare hospice benefit will “improve care coordination and case management, patient satisfaction and quality of care, as well as reduce Medicare expenditures.”  Patients with diagnoses of:

  • advanced cancer
  • congestive heart failure (CHF)
  • human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

are eligible to participate in the model.  Patients may elect their Medicare or Medicaid hospice benefit at any time, and at that time, disenroll in the model to receive the full complement of hospice services.

CMS describes the services provided by the hospices as “wrap around support services” to the patient and their family, focused on patient-centered goals and support.  The model is intended to answer research question focused on whether the model would:

  1. Increase access to supportive care services provided by hospice ;
  2. Improve quality of life and patient/family satisfaction; and
  3. Inform new payment systems for the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Is it possible for patients to elect the Medicare hospice benefit earlier if they have the support available to them to make decisions about care and get their questions answered? 

Resources from CMS

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