April 17, 2014

•  Notes: CMS Forum on Medicare Care Choices Model
•  CR8358 Drug Charges
•  CMS Issues Proposed Rule on Fire Safety Standards
•  New Over/Under Payment Interest Rate for 3rd Quarter
•  March Regulatory Round-Up
•  Advanced Pain Management Webcast, Special Offer
•  Hot Topics in Palliative Care
•  From the Volunteer’s Perspective
•  Mark Your Calendars for Data Submissions!
•  Check Out the Global Partners in Care Website
•  eHospiceUSA
•  N
ews Links of Interest


[PDF Version]


April 2014 NewsLine

Cover Story: Gaining as Much as They Give


NHPCO's 2014 Virtual Conference

Hot Topics in
Palliative Care

July 8 - 10, 2014

Learn more

2014 Webinars are underway, have you purchased a package yet?

Take a look at the exciting new topics in store for this year and easily register for a Webinar Package online, by fax or through the mail!

Quality and Regulatory Topic
April 22, 2:00 – 3:30 pm ET

Change is Afoot! ICD-10 and Implications for Billing Practices
Register by April 18

* * *

Interdisciplinary Topic
May 8, 2:00 – 3:30 pm ET

Depression in Patients and Families: Assessment,
Intervention, Responsibility

Register by May 5.


NHPCO's 2013 National Star Report


2013 National Star Report
Member $200.00
Non-member $350.00


Notes from CMS Special Forum on Medicare Care Choices Model… CMS held a special Open Door Forum on the Medicare Care Choices Model on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. Cindy Massuda from the Center for Medicare and Medication Innovations (CMMI) led the call and described the model as the first time CMS has tested concurrent care between hospice and curative care (download CMS slide set). It is a research model with the goals of improving quality, improving care and reducing costs. Massuda reported that the focus of the model is patient and family education, case management, letting patients and families know of their options, and addressing patient centered goals. If the patient and family are supported, does the patient elect hospice sooner? NHPCO compiled notes from the call (PDF) for provider reference.

CR8358 Drug Charges… NHPCO has received numerous questions about how to figure charges for drugs on the claim form. The Medicare Administrative Contractors have issued the following Q&A:

Q: Can I just report $0.01 for my drug charges?
A: All of this data collection is being used to determine payment reform. By not accurately capturing your costs for all of the data reporting, you are skewing the actually costs for a hospice patient. By reporting $0.01, you are essentially saying that it only costs you a penny to provide X drug for the month.

CMS Issues Proposed Rule on Fire Safety Standards… On April 14, CMS released proposed rule CMS-3277-P (PDF) updating the fire safety standards for Medicare and Medicaid participating providers, adopting the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 2012 editions of the Life Safety Code (LSC) and the Health Care Facilities Code. NHPCO’s Regulatory Committee will review the proposed rule and prepare comments. Comments are due June 16.

New Over/Under Payment Interest Rate for 3rd Quarter (FY2014)… CMS issued CR 8755 (PDF) which instructs the MAC’s to implement a new interest rate of 10.125 percent for Medicare overpayments and underpayments, effective April 17, 2014.

March Regulatory Round-Up… Have you downloaded the March 2014 Regulatory Round-Up that summarizes activity from last month? If not, visit the Regulatory Alert and Round-Up page today.


Advanced Pain Management, Special Member Offer for this New Webcast… Advanced Pain Management was originally presented as part of NHPCO’s 2013 Clinical Team Conference; the Webcast of this program is one of the newest offerings added to NHPCO’s E-OL. As a special offer, this Webcast will be free to the first 200 NHPCO members who register. The Advanced Pain Management Webcast offers participants an in-depth look at issues and treatment options for advanced pain management. Dr. Russell Portenoy provides insights into drug interactions and highlights best practices for effectively managing pain and related side effects. This webcast offers 2.5 hours of CE/CME for nurses and physicians at no additional cost.

(Please note: The cost to members will appear as “free” on the registration page for the first 200 members, once we’ve hit that number for this special offer, the standard member-price will appear on the registration page.)

Hot Topics in Palliative Care – the Conference that Comes to You… Registration for NHPCO’s 2014 Virtual Conference, Hot Topics in Palliative Care, is now open. Hundreds of organizations have taken advantage of the Virtual Conference to bring cutting-edge, affordable education right to their offices. Learn more about Hot Topics in Palliative Care being offered July 8 – 10, 2014, and register today.

From the Volunteer’s Perspective… In the April issue of NewsLine, hospice volunteer, Jai Eileen Swyter, recounts a connection she made with a dementia patient in the most unexpected of ways, reinforcing the importance of active listening, patience and compassion. Read the article now — and share the link with your volunteers. (A print-friendly copy can also be downloaded: just click the purple button at the end of the article.)


Mark Your Calendars for Data Submissions!

2013 National Data Set (NDS) deadline is May 1. Submit your data and automatically be entered for a chance to win Free 2012 Peer Reports!
Patient Outcomes and Measures (POM) is open now through April 31 for Q1 2014 data (NQF #0209 and Self-Determined Life Closure Measures). Yes, we are continuing to provide support for the Comfortable Dying Measure, so please continue to submit your data to NHPCO.


Check Out the Global Partners in Care Website… There has been much excitement as the news of FHSSA’s expanding mission as the newly re-launched Global Partners in Care has spread. We invite you to look over the new Global Partners in Care website to learn more and explore ways your program can get involved.


In recognition of National Healthcare Decisions Day on April 16, ehospiceUSA posted a number of articles involving advance care planning that include:
"Death and Taxes: Time When People are Thinking about Both"
"Asking Tough Questions"
"Are You Traveling Without a Map?"


"Good Shepherd Hospice team helps make patient’s wish come true," The News Sun (FL), 04/11/14.
"Veterans Hospice Program," KFDA News Channel 10, CBS affiliate (TX), 04/10/14.
"A 'Code Death' for Dying Patients," New York Times blog, 04/10/14.

NewsBriefs is a weekly publication provided to
members of the National Hospice and Palliative
Care Organization, http://www.nhpco.org.
© NHPCO, 2014.

- back to top -