Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Outcome Resources Helps Bring Advocates to the Intensive

Outcome Resources, a Pharmaceutical Benefit Manager (PBM) exclusively serving hospices, has helped many of NHPCO’s programs over the past five years.

Most recently, they have offered their support to the Foundation of Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa’s “From San Diego to Africa” event as well as the National Hospice Foundation’s Run to Remember and the annual Gala. Their financial support for these events has allowed hospice patients and their families in both Africa and the United States to receive quality hospice care.

Dr. Martin McDonough founded Outcome Resources in 2000 to provide expertise to hospices on pain and symptom management. The firm helps hospices in reducing costs and increasing the quality of patient care. They have served as a very useful resource for NHPCO and our member hospices around the country. As Autumn Spence said in her opening remarks at the HAN Advocacy Intensive, everyone at Outcome Resources has a professional commitment to helping hospices succeed. This dedication shows in the satisfaction of customers nationwide.
This year, thanks to the generosity of Outcome Resources, ten advocates whose hospice programs would otherwise be unable to afford it were able to attend the Hospice Action Network’s Advocacy Intensive. HAN and NHPCO are incredibly grateful for their sponsorship.

The stories these advocates had to tell to their congressmen on the Hill, like all hospice stories, are very important, and if not for Outcome Resources, these stories would have gone unheard.

Penelope Gatlin from Outcome Resources with HAN Scholarship Recipients.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

CMS Publishes Final Hospice Wage Index Rule - Many Provisions Included.

On Friday, August 2, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) posted the final FY2014 Hospice Wage Index rule.  This rule provides critically important information to providers on the following:

 1. Guidance on how hospices are to report multiple diagnoses on hospice claims
 2.Guidance on the discontinuation of the use of “debility” and “adult failure to thrive” as primary diagnoses
 3.Directives to MACs to begin the “Return to Provider” RTP process on and after October 1, 2014 for claims submitted with “debility” or “adult failure to thrive” as primary diagnoses
 4.Guidance on changes to coding for dementia diagnoses
 5.Guidance on changes in the requirements for hospice quality reporting, including discontinuation of data collection and reporting for the QAPI structural measure and NQF #0209
 6. Implementation of a Hospice Item Set (HIS) with seven National Quality Forum (NQF) endorsed measures, beginning July 1, 2014
 7.Implementation of a Hospice Experience of Care Survey beginning January 1, 2015
 8.Update on hospice payment reform

NHPCO members will find a comprehensive Regulatory Alert posted online.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Sens. Warner & Isakson Introduce Bipartisan Care Planning Act of 2013

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) introduced legislation today designed to give people with serious illness the freedom to make more informed choices about their care, and the power to have those choices honored. The Care Planning Act of 2013 creates a Medicare and Medicaid benefit for patient-centered care planning for people with serious illness. It will reimburse a team of healthcare professionals for providing a voluntary, structured discussion about the patient’s goals, illness, and treatment options. A written plan will reflect the informed choices made by patients in consultation with their health care team, faith leaders, family members and friends. The Care Planning Act also provides resources for public and professional education materials about care planning.

“When faced with a serious illness, you want the freedom to control how you will live. The Care Planning Act will help align the care you receive with the care you want – no more, no less,” Sen. Warner said. “People don't like to talk about sickness or death, and families tend to put off confronting what might happen if individuals become seriously ill or unable to make decisions about their own medical care. This patient-centered approach will help your doctors and your hospital know about the choices that you and your loved ones have made. If a patient prefers to explore every possible treatment option, that choice should be respected. And if an individual prefers a different approach after informed consultations with their health team, their family and others, those choices should be documented and honored, too.”

Read the full release on Senator Warner's website: