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Hospice of Michigan President and CEO Available for Comment on New England Journal of Medicine Article on Profits in Hospice Industry and Proposed Changes From MedPAC
Date:6/25/2009

nges in the hospice sector that have especially intensified in the last 10 years.

"We are pleased that MedPAC has recommended changes to the hospice payment system because we have found the payment system currently in place rewards for-profit hospices that selectively admit patients requiring less intensive care and resources while they are reimbursed at the same rate as hospices like Hospice of Michigan that take all patients regardless of the complexity of the care and resources required.

"Hospice of Michigan supports MedPAC's endeavor to weed out the 'bad actors' in our field and to modernize the benefit taking into account intensity of care. We do, however, have concerns about the MedPAC proposed changes in the hospice reimbursement model which could have unintended consequences of creating incentives to shorten hospice lengths-of-stay, a devastating consequence to patients and families. Current 'bad actors' would simply change their business model to maximize profits under the new rules.

"Hospice of Michigan fully supports MedPAC'S goal of assuring that our communities receive high quality, cost-effective hospice care. We believe that adding quality, evidenced-based outcomes, and case-mix adjusters (an increased reimbursement adjustment for complex hospice cases) to the reimbursement model would be a better way to weed out 'bad actors' in the hospice sector.

"To that end, Hospice of Michigan and other non-profit hospices are working collaboratively with MedPAC and have recently submitted additional information to MedPAC. Our goal is to assist MedPAC in any way that would be helpful as MedPAC develops their next round of recommendations to Congress on how to refine the hospice reimbursement system and provide necessary corrections without creating unintended consequences.

"It is in the interest of patients, families and the delivery of quality care that the hospice benefi
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SOURCE Hospice of Michigan
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