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December 01, 2023

Final Report Issued on Medicare Care Choices Model for Hospice Patients Also Receiving Treatment for Their Conditions

On November 6, 2023, CMS issued its final annual report on the Medicare Care Choices Model that was implemented in 2016 and operated over a five-year period.  The current payment rules require Medicare beneficiaries to forgo Medicare coverage of treatment for their terminal condition after they elect the Medicare hospice benefit.  The model tested an option for Medicare beneficiaries suffering a terminal illness, such as cancer or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, to receive palliative care from participating hospice providers without having to give up treatment provided by other Medicare providers for their terminal condition. The report concluded that enrollees in the model experienced improved care and quality of life with high satisfaction, while the combined provision of hospice services and treatment by other providers reduced Medicare costs due to decreased need for emergency department visits or inpatient admissions.

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