Regulators Eyeing Medicare Hospice Spending

Posted Saturday, January 8, 2022

CMS and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Officer of the Inspector General (OIG) are zeroing in on longer lengths of stay, billing for services deemed unrelated to the terminal diagnosis and use of general inpatient care, among other concerns amid the rise in costs for hospice.

“In 2019, more than 1.6 million Medicare beneficiaries elected the hospice benefit, costing CMS $20 billion, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MEDPAC). This is up from about 548,000 and $3.5 billion in 2001. The cost of care per hospice patients rose to $12,687 in 2019 from $11,258 in 2010, MEDPAC reported.”

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