CHA News Article

CMS Proposes 1.3 Percent Increase in Hospice Payments for FFY 2015

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has proposed a 1.3 percent payment update for hospices for federal fiscal year (FFY) 2015, representing an approximate $230 million increase compared to FFY 2014. The proposed rule, attached, would continue the phase-out of the wage index budget neutrality adjustment factor, as part of the seven-year phase-out initiated in the FFY 2010 final rule (10 percent in FFY 2010 and 15 percent per year for FFYs 2011 through 2016).

The rule also seeks comments on “terminal illness” and “related conditions” definitions, proposes coordination and appeals processes related to Part D payment for drugs for beneficiaries in a hospice, and updates the Hospice Quality Reporting Program. Most notably, the proposed rule outlines requirements for the Hospice Consumer Assessment of Health Providers and Systems (CAHPS) patient experience survey. Hospice providers are required to begin collecting and reporting hospice CAHPS data in 2015. Comments on the proposed rule are due July 1.