In April 2021, NHPCO conducted a survey of its membership to learn more about the use of medical group practices among these hospice providers and interest in developing such a service. Hospice organizations already invest in medical providers, including physicians and nurse practitioners, as members of their interdisciplinary team, so there could be opportunity for hospices to build out a medical group practice.
Health care organizations that have a medical group practice are at an advantage when it comes to participating in new care models. Creating a medical group practice is also the fastest way to build a palliative care program and secure reimbursement through Medicare B billing.
Nearly 20 percent of NHPCO’s provider members responded. This reflects the feedback of 230 hospices from among the organization’s 1,200 provider members.
Among the survey findings:
· 27 percent of respondents reported that they have a medical practice group as part of their services.
· 26 percent of respondents indicated an interest in developing this service.
· Approximately 50 percent of the members with an existing medical group reside within a geographic location that is eligible to participate in the Primary Care First model.
· 66 percent of respondents provide palliative care services; however, currently only 9 percent offer primary care services.
· 38 percent of respondents provide certified home health care.
· 25 percent provide other services such as assisted living, long term care, private duty care, home infusion, PACE, and pediatric concurrent care.
An overwhelming majority of respondents are interested in participating in focus groups to assist NHPCO in building out resources to help others build and sustain medical practice groups.
“One of the things we are helping hospice providers understand is the range of opportunities that exist among the various models being offered or developed by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation,” said NHPCO Vice President for Palliative and Advanced Care Lori Bishop. “The skills of the Interdisciplinary Team and the expertise that hospice professionals have in care management can be of great value to organizations that are part of Direct Contracting or Primary Care First models.”
NHPCO members will find additional information on some of these models on the Models and Demos page of the NHPCO website.