Hospice Leaders Shocked by Lackluster Proposed Payment Rule Amid Inflation, Wage Hikes

Posted Saturday, May 21, 2022

CMS recently proposed a 2.7% pay increase for hospice care for Fiscal Year 2023. Hospice leaders are shocked as COVID continues, rising inflation and wages increases.

Additionally, Medicare is phasing in the return of payment sequestration, which had been suspended during the COVID-19 PHE. Effective April 1, CMS began a 1% withholding.

Starting June 30, that will rise to the typical 2%, representing a change that some hospices consider “devastating.” CMS had temporarily suspended sequestration during the pandemic.

“I was shocked by the number … [CMS] is using stale data, and they’re lagging the reimbursement increase, and that’s going to exacerbate the situation that everyone has experienced in the industry,” Kevin McNamara, CEO of Chemed Corp. (NYSE: CHEM), said at the RBC Capital Markets Global Healthcare Conference. “So, we are looking at a high single-digit year-over-year increase for the overall net of what we’re doing for our folks.”

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