Washington, DC—A report released today by the National Partnership for Hospice Innovation (NPHI) highlights several cost and quality differences between for-profit and nonprofit hospices serving Medicare beneficiaries. The report, prepared by the global actuarial and consulting firm Milliman, confirms three differences between the hospice types. Compared to for-profit hospices, nonprofits:
Tom Koutsoumpas, President and CEO of NPHI, remarked, “NPHI commissioned this report because we want to contribute to the understanding of the differences and similarities in financial performance and quality of care between nonprofit and for-profit hospices serving Medicare beneficiaries. And, we hope that Congress, the executive branch, hospice and palliative care providers, and other interested
stakeholders will integrate this report’s findings into their ongoing work to support and increase access
to high quality end-of-life care for all beneficiaries of Medicare.” Some of the report’s other key findings include:
John Richardson, NPHI Chief Strategy Officer, stated, “We believe the findings of this deeply- researched expert report are consistent with and reinforce the findings of the most recent reports on the Medicare hospice benefit from the HHS Office of Inspector General, Government Accountability Office, and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. All have found significant differences between nonprofit and for-profit hospices in the stewardship of Medicare dollars and the quality of care for Medicare
Richardson added, “We urge policymakers to read this new report that adds to the understanding of the real differences between nonprofit and for-profit hospices. There are differences in the way hospice care is delivered to Medicare beneficiaries—both the quality of care and the total cost of care—two increasingly important distinctions as the number of Medicare beneficiaries seeking hospice care grows dramatically in the years ahead.”
And Richardson continued, “NPHI appreciates MedPAC’s recent discussion of a policy option to lower the Medicare aggregate hospice spending cap that carefully distinguished between the impacts such a policy would have on nonprofit and for-profit hospices. We urge all policymakers to take these
differences into consideration when debating changes to the Medicare hospice benefit.”
The Milliman report is available at www.milliman.com/insight/2019/Hospice-Medicare-Margins-Analysis-of-Patient-and-Hospice-Characteristics–Utilization–and-Cost/.
Caldwell Hospice is the only not-for-profit hospice care provider in Watauga and Ashe Counties, and one of two in Avery. For over 37 years, Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care has been committed to providing excellence in end-of-life care to anyone who needs it regardless of ability to pay. In 2018-19, Caldwell Hospice provided more than $1.3 million in patient care for which there was no reimbursement. The High Country team who live and work in Ashe, Avery and Watauga Counties has had the privilege of providing non-hospice palliative medicine and hospice care to nearly 1,200 patients and families since 2014. For more information about Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care call 828.754.0101, visit www.caldwellhospice.org, or follow on Facebook.