Payment Rate Change Announced for Hospice

The state’s Division of Health Care Finance and Policy (DHCFP) announced an adjustment in the rate of payment for hospice services “in accordance with CMS requirements.”

The full announcement is available here.

The change is estimated by DHCFP to increase the MassHealth budget by $184,274 or 2.68%, which translates to a slight increase and not a cut as is sometimes meant when the state uses the word “adjustment.” According to the announcment, each rate is composed of a non-wage component and a wage component, in which the latter is adjusted by a county-specific, Massachusetts wage index, in accordance with CMS guidelines.

Depending on the service, the rates in these county-groupings change within the following ranges:

  • 3.5-3.7% for Norfolk, Suffolk, and Plymouth,
  • 3.0-3.2% for Middlesex,
  • 2.6-2.7% for Essex,
  • 2.4-2.5% for Bristol, 3.2-3.4% for Berkshire and Pittsfield,
  • 1.7-1.9% for Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin,
  • 3.4-3.6% for Worcester,
  • 1.6-1.9% for Barnstable
  • 1.9-2.2% for Nantucket and Dukes.

Although the revisions were adopted by emergency regulation on May 27, they are still technically “proposed” and are subject to further change. DHCFP announced that there will be a hearing on July 7 in Boston for anyone interested in offering comments on the matter. See the full announcement for details.

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