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Hospice Organizations Invited to Try New Medicare Model

Medicare soon will reimburse hospices offering palliative care and providers offering curative services, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid recently announced.

Under the current system, a beneficiary must stop curative treatments to use Medicare’s hospice benefit.

“This has created a ‘false choice’ between the two types of care,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), who authored the Medicare Care Choices Model.

This new model will test whether Medicare beneficiaries who qualify for coverage under the Medicare hospice benefit would elect to receive the palliative and supportive care services typically provided by a hospice if they could continue to seek services from their curative care providers, according to CMS.

Through the Choices model, Medicare will reimburse hospices $400 a month for “routine home care and inpatient respite levels of care” that aren’t eligible to be billed under other parts of the Medicare program.

“The Medicare Care Choices Model empowers clinicians and patients with choices,” said Patrick Conway, CMS chief medical officer. “Specifically, clinicians, family members and caregivers in this model will no longer need to choose between hospice services and curative care.”

Eligible hospice organizations interested in participating in this model can submit the application materials by June 19 online on the CMS website.

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