The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission released its annual March report to Congress on Wednesday, March 15, 2017.
The hospice chapter begins with an updated snapshot of the hospice industry. According to MedPAC, 1.38 million Medicare beneficiaries (or almost 49% of Medicare decedents) received hospice care in 2015 from 4,200 hospice providers. In that year, Medicare spent $15.9 billion on hospice care, up from $15.1 billion in 2014. However, Medicare spending on hospice care constituted less than 3% of overall Medicare spending.
In the report, the Commission recommends that “Congress should eliminate the update to the hospice payment rates for fiscal year 2018,” which is consistent with previous MedPAC recommendations.
It is important to remember that Congress must take action for a MedPAC recommendation to be implemented, which it has not done in recent years.
Learn more about the hospice chapter from the Hospice Action Network blog.
Listen to NHPCO's Podcast, Episode #12 to here more about the report's focus on live discharge.