CHA News Article

CMS Issues Proposed Updates to the Wage Index and Payment Rates for Hospice

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the attached proposed rule that would update fiscal year (FY) 2017 Medicare payment rates and the wage index for hospices. CMS proposes a 2 percent ($330 million) increase in its payments for FY 2017, based on an estimated 2.8 percent inpatient hospital market basket update, reduced by a 0.5 percentage point productivity adjustment and a 0.3 percentage point adjustment set by the Affordable Care Act. CMS also implements changes required by the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act. The hospice cap amount for the 2017 cap year will be $28,377.17.  

The proposed rule also outlines participation requirements and deadlines for the FY 2019 and FY 2020 Hospice CAHPS Survey. CMS anticipates that public display of the data will occur during calendar year 2017. Additionally, CMS proposes adding two new quality measures to the hospice quality reporting program (QRP) for FY 2017. The first — the Hospice Visits When Death is Imminent measure — will assess hospice staff visits to patients and caregivers in the last week of life. The second — the Hospice and Palliative Care Composite Process measure — will assess the percentage of hospice patients who received care consistent with guidelines, based on selected measures currently submitted under the Hospice QRP. CMS is also considering enhancing the current Hospice Item Set data collection instrument by aligning it with those used in other post-acute care settings.  

CHA is currently reviewing the proposed rule and will provide members with a more detailed summary in the coming weeks.  A fact sheet is available on the CMS website