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NHPCO Comments on FY2016 Hospice Proposed Rule

For Immediate Release:
May 1, 2015

NHPCO Offers Initial Comments on FY2016 Hospice Wage Index Proposed Rule

(Alexandria, Va) – On Thursday afternoon, April 30, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services posted the FY 2016 Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update and Hospice Quality Reporting Requirements proposed rule

CMS has proposed the first significant payment reform changes to the Medicare Hospice Benefit in this Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) for the FY2016 Hospice Wage Index.  

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization commented that with such a proposal, it may take some time to fully understand and analyze the potential impact of the proposed changes.  However, of primary concern to NHPCO, will be the effect on patient and family access to the high quality care for which hospice is known.

Whether or not the proposed payment structure changes are determined to be beneficial or detrimental, the hospice community continues to believe that a time-limited demo or pilot of the proposed payment structure changes is a reasonable and responsible course of action. 

“The hospice community, as well as both CMS and the Medicare Administrative Contractors, need time for preparation and testing to assure themselves that the requisite infrastructure and information systems are in place to effectively and efficiently implement whatever the final payment structure might be,” said J. Donald Schumacher, NHPCO president and CEO.

“We recognize CMS for its thoughtful approach and look forward to our continued working together to improve end of life care in our nation,” Schumacher added.

The proposed rule will be published officially in the Federal Register on May 5, 2015 with a 60 day comment period.  Comments are due June 29, 2015.

NHPCO members will find a Regulatory Alert issued today that provides some initial points from the proposed rule.


Anita Brikman
Senior Vice President, Strategic Communications
Ph: 703-837-5134