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FY 2018 Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update and Hospice Quality Reporting Requirements

On Thurs., April 27th, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the federal fiscal year (FY) 2018 Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update and Hospice Quality Reporting Requirements proposed rule. The proposed rule will be posted in the May 3rd Federal Register. In FY 2016, Medicare spent approximately $16.5 billion on hospice care. Some of the major provisions include:

  • A 1 percent increase, which means an estimated $180 million in increased payments in CY 2018;
  • For FY 2016, the most common hospice principal diagnoses were Alzheimer’s disease, heart failure, COPD, lung cancer, and senile degeneration of the brain;
  • 2018 hospice cap will be $28,689.04;
  • Requesting comments on the clinical certification of a medical prognosis of a life expectancy of six months or less;
  • Provides an update on the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP) and considers appropriateness of social risk factors in HQRP;
  • Outlines new data collection and submission mechanism under consideration, the Hospice Evaluation & Assessment Reporting Tool (HEART);
  • CMS is not proposing any new measures based on the Hospice Item Set (HIS), but is requesting feedback on two measure concepts under consideration for future years.

Public comments on the proposal will be accepted until June 26, 2017. LeadingAge NY will have a detailed analysis soon, and we will be providing comments.

Contact: Cheryl Udell, cudell@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8871