CMS Proposes 2016 Payment Rate Updates for Hospice

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  • June 10, 2015
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CMS Proposes 2016 Payment Rate Updates for Hospice

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule (CMS-1629-P) to update 2016 Medicare payment rates and the wage index for hospices. The 2016 proposal would give hospices an estimated 1.3 percent ($200 million) increase in their payments. According to “2016 Hospice NPRM CMS-1629-P CMS Updates to the Wage Index and Payment Rates for the Medicare Hospice Benefit,” released on April 30, the increase reflects:

  • The distributional effects of the 1.8 percent proposed 2016 hospice payment update percentage ($290 million increase);
  • The use of updated wage index data and the phase-out of the wage index budget neutrality adjustment factor (-0.7 percent/$120 million decrease); and
  • The proposed implementation of the new Office of Management and Budget Core Based Statistical Areas delineations for 2016 hospice wage index with a one-year transition (0.2 percent/$30 million increase).

The elimination of the wage index budget neutrality adjustment factor is not a policy change, but part of a seven-year phase-out.
For more information, see the April 30 Federal Register, Public Inspection Desk, “Special Filings,” and CMS’ Hospice Center. Public comments are accepted until June 29.

Michelle Dick
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Michelle A. Dick, BS, is a freelance content specialist, providing writing, editorial expertise, and graphic imagery to clients. Prior to becoming a free agent, she was an executive editor for AAPC, editor-in-chief at Eli Research, and editor at Element K Journals. After earning a Bachelor of Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo State, Dick entered the publishing industry as a graphic artist, ad coordinator, and web designer for White Directory Publishers, Inc.

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