As we discussed in my last article, the ACA has allowed CMS to explore new payment models that might more accurately reflect the value or cost of the services rendered by healthcare providers. For acute care facilities, we are experiencing the beginnings of value-based payments intended to blend outcome data with billed services to determine fair compensation.
For hospices, new payment models have been introduced this year that are an attempt to more accurately reflect the cost of treating these patients at various stages of care. The hospice payment changes are an attempt to match the “cost curve” where patient care costs more in the early days of treatment and the final days of life compared to the days in between. This study was used to document these “curved” resources and provide the basis for the current payment model: