Industry News

CMS Issues Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update Final Rule for FY 2014.

Lisa Shuman | August 2013

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued a final rule updating the wage index and payment rates for hospice providers for fiscal year (FY) 2014.  CMS estimated that the overall economic impact of this final rule is $160 million in increased Medicare payments to hospice providers during FY 2014. 

The final rule also changes the hospice quality reporting program requirements by discontinuing currently reported measures and implementing a Hospice Item Set with seven National Quality Forum endorsed measures beginning July 1, 2014.  The total cost to hospice providers to submit data to the Hospice Item Set is $14.3 million.

 Other key highlights of the final rule include:

  • Continuation of the wage index budget neutrality adjustment factor phase out.
  • Clarification as to how hospices must report diagnoses on hospice claims.
  • Updates to the public on hospice payment reform.
  • Implementation of the hospice Experience of Care Survey on January 1, 2015.

 The FY 2014 hospice payment rates and wage index will be effective on October 1, 2013.

 The final rule is available at:

 The CMS fact sheet on the final rule is available at:

 Medicare Program; FY 2014 Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update; Hospice Quality Reporting Requirements; and Updates on Payment Reform; Final Rule, 78 Fed. Reg.  151, 48234, 48234 (Aug. 7, 2013).

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.  “CMS Finalizes Updates to the Wage Index and Payment Rates for the Medicare Hospice Benefit.”  Fact Sheet.  2 Aug. 2013. 

About the Author

Ms. Shuman assists health care organizations to develop, implement and evaluate their compliance programs and HIPAA privacy programs. Ms. Shuman specializes in our firm’s HIPAA Privacy services, including leading privacy investigations, breach risk assessments, breach notification letters, breach reporting to the Office for Civil Rights and corrective actions plans. She specializes in serving as Interim Privacy Officer for large health care systems, managed care organizations, comprehensive cancer center and health care business associate.