The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule (CMS-1714-F) that updates the Medicare hospice wage index, payment rates, and cap amount for fiscal year (FY) 2020. This rule also rebases the continuous home care, general inpatient care, and the inpatient respite care per diem payment rates in a budget-neutral manner to more accurately align Medicare payments with the costs of providing care. CMS also finalized the proposal to use the current year’s hospital wage index data to establish the hospice wage index. In addition, this rule modifies the election statement content requirements to include additional information aimed at increasing coverage transparency for patient under a hospice election. As finalized, hospices will see an estimated 2.6 percent ($520 million) increase in Medicare payments for FY 2020. Finally, this rule finalizes changes to the Hospice Quality Reporting Program.
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