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Biden Nominations Promising for Hospice Advocacy, But Challenges Remain

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To keep you informed on news, innovation, education and advocacy issues around home-based care, we’ve pulled together these important headlines.

CMS

Biden’s selection for Seema Varma’s replacement at CMS has been slowed by confirmation delays in the Senate for another key post. Biden has nominated Xavier Beccara to the head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Next Biden moved forward with an official nomination for the head of CMS. Read the rest of the article here.

Biden has nominated Chiquita Brooks-LaSure for administrator of the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services CMS. C‑TAC leaders followed the announcement with excitement. Her years of expertise and experience working with Xavier Beccara in the past bode well. Industry experts are confident in her ability to lead CMS. Read the full article here.

Financial Relief for States

Biden’s proposed relief bill may help states like New York avoid drastic cuts to make up for large deficits due to the pandemic. Read the full article here.

Home Care Advocacy

NAHC President William A Dombi sat down with Home Health Care News to discuss expectations for home care advocacy during the Biden administration and why he is optimistic about the potential to prioritize home health and hospice in upcoming legislation. Read the full article here.

The latest relief bill, dubbed the American Rescue Plan” includes several provisions in favor of home care and are receiving positive support from many politicians in Washington. Some of these provisions include a 7.85% increase to Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP) for HCBS. Read the rest of the article here.

THIS MONTH IN HOSPICE

Stark Law Revisions Take Effect for Hospice, Other Health Care Providers

Stark Law revisions were enacted at the end of 2020 to enable better care coordination for value-based care programs and take technological advancements and cyber security requirements into account. The changes to the law went into effect during the last days of the Trump administration. Agencies are urged to review the changes and make sure their policies align with the updated law. Read the rest of the article here.

Top Hospice Challenges in 2021

The annual Hospice News Outlook Survey, sponsored by Homecare Homebase polls hospice professionals on their top concerns for the year. Access to patients and staffing topped the list. To read the full article, click here.

Guidance for Provider Relief Fund Reporting

Deadlines and clarification regarding provider relief fund reporting requirements have been lacking. Hospice News interviewed a lawyer recently and received guidance for providers on what to look out for. Read the rest of the article here.

Assisted Living Referrals

While group care facilities such as nursing homes, assisted living and SNFs have been hit hard by the pandemic. A recent survey indicates that assisted living facilities are still considered one of the greatest areas for potential referral growth in 2021. Read the full article here.

CAPC

Diane Meier, M.D., founder and executive director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) has decided to step down this year. She is not ready to discuss her personal future plans, but she agreed to sit down with Hospice News to discuss the state of palliative care today and what she thinks the future holds for the growing service line. Find out what she had to say here.

HOSPICE CUSTOMERS IN THE NEWS

Hospice & Palliative Care of Buffalo

Hospice News interviewed Christopher Kerr, M.D., CEO and chief medical officer of Hospice & Palliative Care Buffalo about his research that has led to a successful TedEx Speech, book, guest appearances on Netflix and an upcoming documentary. To read the rest of the article, click here.

Agape Care

Agape Care is leading the way as the first hospice provider in South Carolina to directly administer COVID-19 vaccinations to staff and is gearing up to vaccinate the general public in their homes. Read the full article here.

RESOURCE ARTICLES

As Becerra Awaits HHS Confirmation, Biden Reportedly Narrows Picks to Head CMS” By Robert Holly, Published by Home Health Care News on February 5, 2021

Biden to Nominate Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to Lead CMS” By Jim Parker, Published by Hospice News on February 18, 2021

50% Cut to Workforce Recruitment, Retention Fund Puts Home Care Providers in the Hot Seat” By Andrew Donlan, Published by Home Health Care News on February 15, 2021

7.35% Medicaid Boost Critical for Supporting America’s Fragile’ Home-Based Care Infrastructure, Senators Argue” By Andrew Donlan, Published by Home Health Care News on February 182021

Stark Law Revisions Take Effect for Hospice, Other Health Care Providers” By Jim Parker, Published by Hospice News on February 32021

Top 2021 Hospice Worries: Accessing Facility-Bound Patients, Staffing” by Jim Parker, Published by Hospice News on February 82021

HHS Releases New PRF Funding Requirements, Delays First Reporting Deadline” by Holly Vossel, Published by Hospice News on February 162021

Assisted Living Primed for Hospice Growth in 2021” by Holly Vossel, Published by Hospice News on February 172021

Hospice CEO Christopher Kerr Seeks New Understanding of the Dying Process” By Jim Parker, Published by Hospice News on February 222021

Agape Care Moving COVID Vaccination Effort Into Local Community” By Jim Parker, Published by Hospice News on February 122021