HOSPICE OF CENTRAL PA one of 140 hospices selected nationwide to participate in Medicare Care Choices Model

Posted On On: July 28, 2015 Categories Filed Under: Member News

Hospice of Central Pennsylvania (HCP) has been selected to participate in the Medicare Care Choices Model (MCCM), announced recently by Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. The model provides Medicare beneficiaries who qualify for coverage under the Medicare Hospice Benefit and dually eligible beneficiaries who qualify for the Medicaid Hospice Benefit the option to elect to receive supportive care services typically provided by hospice and continue to receive curative services at the same time. Today’s announcement is part of a larger effort to transform our health care system to deliver better care, spend our dollars in a smarter way, and put patients in the center of their care.

The model makes HCP one of the first hospices in the country to offer Medicare beneficiaries the option of receiving services available under the hospice benefit while continuing curative care. Currently, Medicare patients must forgo curative treatment to enter hospice care, which is designed to help manage pain and symptoms.

“Hospice and palliative care are too often sought only in the last days of an advanced illness,” said Gil Brown, President and CEO of HCP. “We’re pleased to be a part of this first step in transforming that process and integrating curative and palliative care to create earlier patient and family engagement.”

HCP, the only capital area participant, is one of four hospices in Pennsylvania and 140 hospices nationwide that were competitively selected from nearly 2,000 applicants. HCP was selected because of its strong record of developing, reporting and analyzing quality assurance and performance improvement data.

HCP will implement MCCM under its Levos Palliative Solutions program. The name is taken from the Latin word “levo” meaning to “lift up” or “relieve.” At its core, Levos provides comprehensive care for patients and families struggling with the challenges of a progressive illness. A hallmark of the program is the patient care guide, a registered nurse who ensures the coordination of care and services that are consistent with the patient’s needs and wishes.

HCP serves an average of 200 patients per day across the mid-state region. More than 80 percent are Medicare patients and the vast majority of patients are cared for in the place they call home.

While hospice care is open to patients with any type of advanced illness, individuals who wish to receive services under MCCM must fall into certain categories set forth by CMS:

  • Must be diagnosed with advanced cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure and human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome);
  • Must meet hospice eligibility requirements under the Medicare or Medicaid Hospice Benefit;
  • Must not have elected the Medicare or Medicaid Hospice Benefit within the last 30 days prior to their participation in the Medicare Care Choices Model;
  • Must receive services from a hospice that is participating in the model;
  • Must not be enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan; and
  • Must have satisfied model’s other eligibility criteria.

This new service model will begin at HCP starting January 2016.  The five year model is expected to enable as many as 150,000 eligible Medicare beneficiaries to experience better, patient-centered care while spending dollars in a smarter way.

More information about this announcement is available at: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2015pres/2015.html.

For additional information on the model or list of participating hospices, visit: http://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/Medicare-Care-Choices/ and http://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2015-Fact-sheets-items/2015-07-20.html.

#             #             #

About Hospice of Central Pennsylvania

Hospice of Central Pennsylvania was founded in 1979, as the first hospice in Central Pennsylvania and a nationwide pioneer in hospice care. The organization provides professional, compassionate, people-centered care to individuals and families who are coping with advanced illnesses. Hospice of Central Pennsylvania serves more than 1,200 patients in their homes, senior care facilities and hospitals each year. In addition, the organization provides the only stand-alone hospice residential facility in Central Pennsylvania. An independent, nonprofit provider of palliative care, Hospice of Central Pennsylvania serves Cumberland, Dauphin, Perry, Schuylkill, York, Adams and Lebanon counties.