NPHI Applauds CMS Decision to Test Inclusion of Hospice in Medicare Advantage

Washington, DC – Earlier today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (“Innovation Center”) announced changes to the ongoing Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design (V-BID) model which includes allowing Medicare Advantage plans to offer the Medicare hospice benefit on a voluntary basis. The National Partnership for Hospice Innovation (NPHI) – made up of not-for-profit, community-based hospice and palliative care programs from across the country – applauds the thoughtful approach and leadership of the Innovation Center team, to recognize that consideration of a MA carve-in should take place in a voluntary, demonstration environment where lessons learned can be carefully considered before any steps are taken toward a permanent change. NPHI looks forward to working closely with Innovation Center team and other partners to ensure that beneficiaries have access to the highest-quality hospice care consistent with their goals and values.

“Today’s decision marks a critical step forward to test hospice as a more integrated part of the Medicare Advantage program,” said Tom Koutsoumpas, Chief Executive Officer of NPHI. “Our not-for-profit, community-based programs stand ready to work closely with this Administration to ensure that patients and their families receive the best care possible as part of this new option.”

For years, NPHI has convened a dialogue amongst its members and a diverse set of allied stakeholders, including consumer organizations, health plans, and providers, to consider how to include hospice in Medicare Advantage in a way that benefits patients and families. This Administration’s interest in improving continuity of care for beneficiaries and in promoting patient choice along with advancing value-based care is consistent with inclusion of hospice in the revised V-BID model and aligns with their overall vision for our health care system.