NHPCO Statement: Final MCCM Report from CMS
For Immediate Release
November 10, 2023
(Alexandria, VA) – The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) published the following statement in response to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center (CMMI) release of the final Medicare Care Choices Model (MCCM) report and At-A-Glance report.
MCCM was a CMMI model that ran from 2016 through 2021 to test the impact of providing concurrent curative and hospice care and evaluate “whether providing these supportive services could improve the quality of life and care received by Medicare beneficiaries, increase patient satisfaction, and reduce Medicare expenditures.” The key takeaways highlighted by CMS stated these goals were attained and “MCCM is a promising approach to increasing hospice use.”
“Despite findings in the report which state ‘participating hospices achieved MCCM’s goals of improving enrollees’ quality of life and care, attaining high satisfaction, and reducing Medicare expenditures and acute care service use’ through supportive service delivery and increased use of the Medicare hospice benefit, CMS determined the existing model was not scalable enough for continued funding and ended MCCM prematurely,” said NHPCO Interim CEO, Ben Marcantonio. “This is extremely disappointing as MCCM should be the approach future models follow to continue to improve access to quality hospice and palliative care. If all signs point to a successful program but you need more data, you find a way to increase participation, you don’t put it on a shelf.”
NHPCO is a proud supporter of S. 1845, the Expanding Access to Palliative Care Act led by Senators Rosen (D-NV), Barrasso (R-WY), Baldwin (D-WI), and Fischer (R-NE). This legislation would require CMMI to launch a Community Based Palliative Care program to support those with serious illness. This commonsense demonstration is built on the findings and successes of MCCM.
NHPCO will take the lessons learned from MCCM and apply them when developing new models while continuing to partner with CMS and Congress to provide the best possible care for Medicare beneficiaries.
The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) is the nation’s largest and oldest membership association for providers who care for people affected by serious and life-limiting illness. Our members deliver and expand access to high-quality, person-centered interdisciplinary care to millions of Americans. NHPCO provides education and resources to support that mission. Together with our advocacy partner, the Hospice Action Network (HAN), we serve as the leading voice advancing public policy to improve serious-illness and end-of-life care, while our CaringInfo program provides free resources to educate and empower patients and caregivers. nhpco.org