On Monday, against the backdrop of an extensive investigation into fraud in end-of-life care, Governor Gavin Newsom of California signed two bills into law which established a moratorium on new hospice licenses beginning on January 1, 2022. Additionally, the bills instituted several other reforms aimed at curbing widespread fraud in end-of-life care.
NPHI applauds the state of California for taking these critically important steps. For decades, not-for-profit, community-integrated providers have suffered due to unchecked for-profit growth in the state’s hospice industry.
“We remain wholly committed to supporting high-quality, not-for-profit end-of-life care providers and are pleased that the state of California is addressing these issues by targeting bad actors,” said Tom Koutsoumpas, CEO, NPHI. “We look forward to supporting these and similar efforts in the future.”
The moratorium — which includes exemptions for pending applications and those in geographic areas with a documented need for additional providers — will remain in effect for 365 days after the audit report is published, which is projected to be in March, according to the auditor’s office. Officials say the wide-ranging audit will:
- Evaluate the growth of hospice providers in California over the last decade, as well as factors that led to it, and determine whether other states have experienced similar expansion and taken steps to address it
- Assess the scope of hospice fraud and abuse in California and the impact on the Medicare and Medi-Cal programs
- Identify the most prevalent types of hospice fraud and whether state regulators could do more to protect older Californians
- Evaluate the effectiveness of California’s systems to identify, address, prosecute and deter hospice fraud and whether more resources are needed
- Assess the effectiveness of state systems that screen and license new hospice providers
Read more about the audit report’s scope and objectives here.
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About the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation (NPHI): Serving over 120,000 patients daily and employing thousands of medical professionals, NPHI is driven by passion and integrity to help people live fully through the end‐of‐life. Our commitment is to ensure patients and their families experience advanced illness and end‐of‐life care consistent with their goals, values, and preferences. Our not‐for‐profit member programs across 32 states and the District of Columbia seek to accomplish this by facilitating innovative design of more effective and comprehensive models of care, advocating for comprehensive community‐integrated care that is customized to meet each individual patient’s needs, and enabling collaboration between national thought leaders, decisionmakers, and health care stakeholders to strengthen hospice care. www.NPHI.info