OIG Releases Hospice Related Recommendations

On Tuesday, March 17, the HHS Office of Inspector General issued their semi-annual report on unimplemented OIG recommendations. This year, the OIG recommendation to establish a transfer payment policy for hospitals for early discharges to hospice care was featured as one of the top 20 unimplemented recommendations.  

From OIG’s summary of hospice related changes:

Medicare does not have a transfer payment policy to adjust the payment to the hospital for instances when a beneficiary is discharged early from a hospital to hospice care.

On the basis of OIG’s sample results, Medicare would have saved approximately $602.5 million during calendar years (CYs) 2009 and 2010 by implementing a hospital transfer policy for early discharges to hospice similar to the transfer payment policy it has for early discharges to other postacute-care facilities. Furthermore, OIG found that this reform would not cause hospitals a significant financial disadvantage or disproportionately affect any hospital.

You can read the summary of changes related to hospice here.