New CMMI model poised to address fragmentation of care by allowing beneficiaries who elect hospice to remain in Medicare Advantage
Washington, D.C. – Better Medicare Alliance, an advocacy and research organization supporting Medicare Advantage, announced its support for the Hospice Benefit Provisions in the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation’s (CMMI) Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design Model.
This voluntary demonstration project would allow Medicare Advantage to offer hospice care in all 50 states as part of its benefits package beginning in coverage year 2021 and running through 2024. During this time, CMMI will test “the impact on payment and service delivery of incorporating the Medicare Part A hospice benefit with the goal creating a seamless care continuum in the MA program for Part A and Part B services.”
“Currently, Medicare Advantage beneficiaries who elect hospice care must transition to Traditional Medicare and, in many cases, separate from the care team they have come to know and trust,” said Allyson Y. Schwartz, President and CEO of the Better Medicare Alliance. “This demonstration model will permit continuity of care that hospice patients deserve in order to live comfortably and with dignity during their last months of life.”
Schwartz continued, “Better Medicare Alliance strongly supports this demonstration project, as it opens up opportunities to explore more continuous care for beneficiaries accustomed to a team of providers, even as they elect hospice care. We await further details from CMMI to ensure that appropriate payment will be provided to Medicare Advantage to meet these beneficiaries’ unique needs. Implemented properly, this effort can minimize fragmentation of care and create a more seamless continuum of care from curative treatment to palliative care and hospice. We commend CMMI for offering this value-based model and look forward to monitoring its progress.”
Better Medicare Alliance previously examined key considerations for policy changes that would carve-in hospice care to Medicare Advantage benefits in a February 2020 Issue Brief.
Additionally, BMA held two joint convenings with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) in 2018 and 2019 on the possibility of hospice being included as a benefit in Medicare Advantage that explored this model and offered thoughtful recommendations for action. Read an August 2019 convening report from the two organizations here.