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Medicare Care Choices Model Awards Announced

This week, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the participants in the Medicare Care Choices Model.

The Choices 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, while continuing to receive curative services.

The Medicare Care Choice Model is designed to evaluate whether eligible Medicare and dually eligible beneficiaries would elect to receive supportive care services typically provided by hospice if they could also continue to receive curative services and whether providing both palliative and curative care concurrently impacts quality of care, as well as patient and family satisfaction.

Under the model, participating hospices will provide services that are currently available under the Medicare hospice benefit for routine home care and respite levels of care, but cannot be separately billed under Medicare Parts A, B, and D. These services include nursing, social work, hospice aide, hospice homemaker, volunteer, chaplain, bereavement, nutritional support, and respite care services.

CMS has selected over 140 Medicare-certified hospices to participate in the model and expanded the duration of the model to 5 years. This will enable up to 150,000 eligible Medicare and dually eligible beneficiaries to participate.

More information, including a list of awardees in New York State, is at http://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2015-Fact-sheets-items/2015-07-20.html.

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