DESCRIPTION     2018 was another challenging year for hospices across the nation. On 8/1/18 CMS issued the “FY2019 Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update and Hospice Quality Reporting Requirements” Final Rule. While there were no new Quality Measures announced for 2019, the rule discussed “Measure Removal Factors”, reviewed CAHPS® Hospice Survey participation requirements for FY 2023 and subsequent years and discussed public display of quality and other hospice data. The rule also confirmed a 1.8% payment increase, provided information about hospice utilization and finalized the regulatory language to add physician assistants to the list of providers that can serve as a hospice patient’s attending physician, effective 1/1/19. 

Regulatory issues remain the focus of this annual conference, jointly sponsored by the Oregon Hospice and Palliative Care Association and the Washington State Hospice & Palliative Care Organization. From dealing with public reporting of quality measures and other hospice data, documenting for hospice eligibility, strategizing for future developments in a possible “Serious Illness” benefit, as well as preparing for a future standardized patient assessment tool, there are still numerous significant regulatory compliance hurdles facing us in the coming years.

We are fortunate to once again have Judi Lund Person from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and Corrinne Ball from National Government Services be able to spend time with us to bring the most up-to-the minute advice and counsel on how to survive these challenging regulatory times. In addition, we are pleased to have Jeff Myers, MIH, MMSc, PA-C joining us. Jeff will share insights about how Hospices can work with Physician Assistants since the rule has gone into effect allowing a “PA” to be a Hospice patient’s Attending Physician.

CONTINUING EDUCATION      10.25 Continuing Education Contact Hours Provider approved by California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider CEP14488. This program has been approved for 10.25 CEUs by the NASW Washington State Chapter.  Licensed Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists and Mental Health Counselors are eligible.  Provider number #1975-153. (5.25 Monday, 5 Tuesday)

HOTEL RESERVATIONS      Please call the Heathman Lodge directly to make hotel reservations: 888-475-3100 and ask for the OHPCA-WSHPCO group block. The Heathman Lodge is located at 7801 NE Greenwood Drive in Vancouver, WA 98662.

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