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Updates on CMS Proposals for Fiscal Year 2017

On April 21, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule that would update fiscal year (FY) 2017 Medicare payment rates and the wage index for hospices serving Medicare beneficiaries. Comments on the proposed rule are due no later than June 20, 2016.

This proposed rule would update the hospice wage index, payment rates, and cap amount for FY 2017. In addition, this rule would propose changes to the hospice quality reporting program, including proposing new quality measures. The proposed rule also solicits feedback on an enhanced data collection instrument and describes plans to publicly display quality measures and other hospice data beginning in the middle of 2017. Finally, this rule updates hospice monitoring data analysis and provides discussion about ongoing monitoring efforts.

As proposed, hospices would see a 2.0 percent ($330 million) increase in their payments for FY 2017. The proposed 2.0 percent hospice payment update percentage for FY 2017 is based on an estimated 2.8 percent inpatient hospital market basket update, reduced by a 0.5 percentage point productivity adjustment and by a 0.3 percentage point adjustment set by the Affordable Care Act.

This rule also updates data analysis regarding hospice trends including diagnosis reporting, pre-hospice spending, non-hospice spending, and live discharges. Ongoing and future monitoring efforts are also discussed and monitoring will occur at the aggregate and provider-levels.

More information surrounding the proposed updates to the wage index are available on the CMS Website

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