CMS Innovation Center Reveals ‘Medicare Care Choices Model’ Experiment

On March 18, 2014 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it was starting an experimental project called the “Medicare Care Choices Model.” According to the CMS, the initiative “will provide a new option for Medicare beneficiaries to receive palliative care services from certain hospice providers while concurrently receiving services provided by their curative care providers.”

This goes against the current practice of not offering Medicare beneficiaries that are in hospice care the chance to get treatments that could help them get better. They are only managed in a way so that they can die as comfortable as possible. The new move by the CMS will give hospice patients the chance to also receive care that is meant to cure their illness or disease. Supporters of this move believe that when both forms of treatments are offered together they increase the quality of life for the patient overall. They also point out that by offering curative and hospice care together, Medicare will not be footing a bigger bill because families of patients are more willing to choose hospice care if curative care is not taken off the table.

The CMS is currently accepting applications from Hospice care facilities that want to be part of the model. Providers that are selected for the experiment will get $400 per patient that is enrolled in their hospice program while restorative treatment will be billed to Medicare.

Source: CMS

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