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To the editor: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on April 28 that would reduce hospice rates by eliminating the budget neutrality adjustment in the hospice wage index. CMS has stated publicly the final rule on this provision is expected on Aug. 1.
Nationally, the regulation would take more than $2.3 billion in payments to hospice providers, according to a recent MedPAC study. Once fully implemented, this regulation would cut reimbursement to hospices when more and more people need and use this vital service.
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