Hospices receive CMS payment bump

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will implement an increase in payments for hospice care, the agency recently announced.

CMS will enact a 2.5 percent payment increase to hospices for fiscal 2012. The bump is the result of a 3 percent increase in the "market basket," minus one-half percent due to updated wage index data.

"We are pleased with the hospital market basket increase for hospices for FY 2012," said Judi Lund Person, vice president, compliance and regulatory leadership at the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, in a Healthcare Finance News article. "However, the percentage increase is tempered by the reduction in the Budget Neutrality Adjustment Factor. With the ever-increasing regulatory requirements, many of which require more staff or IT investments, there is increased expense for hospice providers and this increase will help providers cover those increased costs."

In addition to the payment increase, CMS is also implementing a hospice quality reporting program as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Among the measures that will be followed is pain management. Hospices will begin gathering data in October 2012 for reporting in 2013. Those that do not comply will see future market basket formulas reduced by two percentage points, notes CMS.

For more information:
- here's the CMS announcement
- read the Healthcare Finance News article