California Bill Would Require Two Physicians for Hospice Recertification

Posted Sunday, February 13, 2022

The California State Assembly is contemplating a bill that would require two physicians to sign off on patient recertifications for hospice and mandate that providers undergo an inspection by the California Department of Public Health every three years.

The California legislation would go beyond current federal requirements from CMS. Currently, Medicare requires two physician signatures for initial certification, but allows the hospice physician to recertify without a second opinion.

“The decision to introduce this bill came from our sponsor, the senior legislature and the major concerns that California has significantly more hospice care facilities with violations than any other state,” Clayton J. Holmes, legislative aide for Voepel, told Hospice News. “The [U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG)] reported in 2019 that, out of over 700 California hospice facilities, 94% have at least one complaint filed against them.”

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