Medicare Advantage and Hospice

The Senate Chronic Care Working Group has proposed that Medicare Advantage plans assume both the clinical management and financial responsibility of the hospice benefit, essentially “carving-in” hospice under Medicare Advantage. This is a departure from the current system, where once a patient enrolls in hospice care, the financial responsibility for patient care shifts to Original Medicare (thus hospice is ‘carved out’ of Medicare Advantage).

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization opposes this proposal for several reasons.  Based on hospices’ experience with private commercial insurance and Medicaid managed care, we are gravely concerned that the proposal would negatively impact beneficiaries, hospices, and the Medicare program by:

  • Limiting beneficiary access to the hospice of their choice
  • Diluting the quality and integrity of the hospice benefit
  • Undermining the autonomy of the hospice Medical Director
  • Increasing the administrative burden for hospice providers
  • Threatening the financial stability of hospice programs

The Senate Chronic Care Working Group comment period has closed. We are monitoring this issue, and continue to meet with Congressional staff regarding our concerns on this proposal.

Video Testimonials: The Importance of Hospice Choice

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