• July 28, 2022 12:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    WiHPCA is happy to remind members about and provide links to the latest articles and information from Hospice News and other publications:

    ·       Hospices Could Face Legal Risks When COVID PHE Ends

    By Holly Vossel | July 21, 2022

    The recently extended COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) will not last forever. When it does expire, hospices need to be aware of potential legal risks. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) once again extended the COVID-19 PHE until Oct. 6. While the agency has the option to keep extending the emergency, hospices may start seeing additional scrutiny, particularly in regards to telehealth utilization and the Provider Relief Fund (PRF). Read more…

    ·       NAHC’s Dombi: ‘Workforce Shortage Affects All of Society’

    By Holly Vossel July 25, 2022

    The home-based care workforce shortage has social and economic ripple effects, according to Bill Dombi, president of the National Association of Home Care & Hospice (NAHC). Demand is outstripping supply for home-based care, said Dombi at the NAHC Financial Management Conference in Las Vegas. Home-based care providers are rejecting upwards of roughly 30% of referrals because providers lack the clinicians to sustain the volume, he said. Read more…

    ·       Sequestration’s Return Creating a ‘Tsunami of Pain Points’ for Hospices

    By Holly Vossel July 15, 2022

    The return of sequestration is adding to the financial storms brewing in hospice, as providers contend with rising costs of delivering patient care, inflation and lackluster reimbursement. Providers are increasingly concerned about their ability to sustain their businesses through choppy waters, calling on regulators to step up support. Read more…

    ·       Why Some Referred Patients Never Make It to Hospice

    By Jim Parker | July 8, 2022

    Hospice referrals appear to be going up. But many patients who get the referral never receive the care due to low health literacy and social determinant of health factors. Among patients who received inpatient discharge instructions indicating hospice, nearly 1 in 10 did not enroll within 30 days of leaving the hospital, according to recent research from Trella Health. The company used data from the last quarter of 2020 and the third of 2021. Read more…

    Hospice News, which is part of the Aging Media Network, is a leading source for news and information covering the hospice industry.

  • July 28, 2022 12:36 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    • The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and Hospice Action Network (HAN) recently sent a letter to Congress, joined by organizations representing a broad coalition of the hospice and palliative care community, to request protection of access to high-quality hospice care for Medicare beneficiaries. The letter asks congressional leaders to call on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to make changes to the proposed payment rate increase for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23). A more sufficient rate would reflect the unprecedented demands and costs that hospice providers and programs are facing across the country. CLICK HERE to read the full letter.

    • Earlier this month, the Biden Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it has extended the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) through October 13, 2022. The PHE provides special access to health insurance and offers key flexibilities on telehealth and reporting deadlines. The Biden Administration has long agreed to give 60 days’ notice warning if the PHE will not be extended again.
    • Last month, the Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act of 2021 was introduced in Congress to extend key telehealth waivers introduced during the pandemic. The legislation includes some of the most significant waivers introduced by the CMS since the COVID-19 pandemic began, including the elimination on geographical restrictions on Medicare coverage for telehealth services. It would also specifically extend hospice telehealth flexibilities – the option to hold face-to-face visits prior to recertification for the hospice benefit via telehealth, and for hospice patients to attend telehealth visits from home – through the end of 2024. CLICK HERE to contact your Members of Congress through the Hospice Action Network and urge them to support the Advancing Telehealth Beyond COVID-19 Act of 2021.

    • At the June 28 DQA-WiHPCA quarterly meeting (see more information below), the regulatory agency invited WiPHCA to review the state’s hospice interface document, the findings of which will be used to update the document. If you are interested in assisting with this important project and use your experience and expertise to review the hospice interface document, please contact the WiHPCA office at wihpca@badgerbay.co.
  • July 28, 2022 12:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Hoven Consulting  – WiHPCA’s lobbying firm

    • Uniform Death Reporting Standards Study Committee – First Meeting

    The Legislative Council’s Study Committee on Uniform Death Reporting Standards held its first public hearing in Madison on Monday, July 18 at 10:00AM.  The meeting features presentations by the state Department of Health Services, including from the State Registrar at the State Vital Records Office, a representative from a mental health organization and a children’s health organization, as well as the Chief Medical Examiner of Fond du Lac County.  A list of committee members, the full meeting agenda, as well as written presentations may be viewed on the legislature’s website.  

    • DHS Announces Annual Adjustment of Health Care Provider Fees for Patient Health Care Records

    Effective on the first day of each July, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services publishes an updated schedule of the maximum fees that health care providers may charge for producing patient medical records.  These fees are based on the consumer price indices for the prior two calendar years.  The fees vary based on the number of pages and the type of file provided (e.g., paper documents, microfiche, x-rays, etc.).  This fee schedule may be viewed on the Legislature’s website. 

    • DSPS Secretary Dawn Crim Leaving Evers Administration

    Earlier in July, Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) Secretary Dawn Crim announced that she will be leaving the Evers Administration on August 1, 2022.  The State Medical Examining Board and the State Board of Nursing are housed within DSPS, which also processes nearly all occupational license applications in Wisconsin, including licenses for physicians, nurses and other health care professionals.  Earlier this year, DSPS implemented an online platform for health care occupational license applications.  The agency will transition the remaining occupational licenses that they handle to their online platform in the future. 

    Governor Evers has announced that DSPS Assistant Deputy Secretary Dan Hereth will be the DSPS Secretary-designee upon Secretary Crim’s departure. 

    • State Supreme Court Decision on Local Health Officer Authority

    On July 8, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that local health officials have the statutory power to issue public health orders without first getting permission from elected officials in their respective jurisdictions.  This case started out as a challenge from Dane County businesses against the authority of Public Health of Madison and Dane County (PHM&DC) related to COVID-19 emergency orders that PHM&DC Director Janel Heinrich issued.  These plaintiffs contended that the only way that these emergency orders could be enforced would be for the Dane County board to vote to approve them.  The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled – with a 4-3 vote – that existing state statute includes the authority for local health officers to issue such emergency orders without the approval of elected officials in their respective jurisdiction.  The full decision may be viewed here. 

    • Governor Announces Over $5 Million in Healthcare Workforce Grants

    On June 23, Governor Evers announced the award of more than $5 million in Workforce Innovation Grant Program funds to assist with healthcare workforce challenges in Wisconsin.  Specifically, up to $4.9 million will be awarded to the Wisconsin Community Action Program Association (WISCAP), which is the statewide organization that represents 16 community action non-profit organizations throughout our state.  These organizations focus on assisting low-income households.  With these funds, WISCAP will assist in paying for low-income individuals to receive training and education to become healthcare workers.  Up to $376,000 will go to the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay to assist in expanding the nursing faculty in order to train up to 152 nursing students. 

  • June 28, 2022 11:41 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Grassroots advocacy is the most powerful tool WiHPCA has at its disposal to shape public policy – and building relationships with lawmakers is the most important aspect of advocacy. In effort to capitalize on our greatest advocacy resource – our membership – WiHPCA has unveiled our Coffee Conversations with Legislators advocacy program.

    The initiative is designed  to help connect members with their local legislators. Under the program, the WiHPCA Government Affairs Team will set-up in-district meetings between WiHPCA members and state lawmakers who represent them in the Legislature. These meetings, which can be located at your facility, or a local coffee shop provide a tremendous opportunity for WiHPCA members to build or strengthen their relationships with local legislators and to educate them on hospice and palliative care and on policy issues important to hospice professionals and their patients.

    WiHPCA encourages all members to participate in this critical grassroots advocacy program. Please click here for more information on the program. If you’re interested in participating in the program, contact the WiHPCA office at wihpca@badgerbay.co if you’re interested in participating.

  • June 28, 2022 11:39 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    WiHPCA is happy to remind members about and provide links to the latest articles and information from Hospice News, the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, and other publications:

    ·         New Research Proposes ‘Sustainable’ Palliative Care Payment Model

    By Holly Vossel | June 24, 2022

    A group of researchers have modified a proposed reimbursement system for palliative care that they say would improve access for patients and make the service more lucrative for providers. The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) in 2017 proposed that the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS) consider the Patient and Caregiver Support for Serious Illness (PACSSI) model.

    ·         MedPAC: Streamline Alternative Payment Models

    By Jim Parker | June 22, 2022

    As hospices explore greater participation in alternative payment models, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) is urging Congress to reduce and restructure those programs. Hospice providers have been eying APMs emerging for the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). These models represent an entry point to value-based reimbursement, as well as a means to support additional business lines such as palliative care, PACE and other services. Read more…

    ·         US Senators Call on CMS to Boost Palliative Care Resources

    By Jim Parker | June 21, 2022

    A bipartisan group of nine U.S. Senators have written to U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, calling for a payment model demonstration designed to support greater access to palliative care. The lawmakers urged the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) to develop a dedicated community-based palliative care benefit, which has been a longstanding goal for providers and industry advocacy groups. Read more…

    ·         Care Coordination Key to Hospices’ Success in Value-Based Care

    By Jim Parker | June 17, 2022

    As more health care reimbursement migrates towards value-based payment models, providers will need to master the art of care coordination. Seriously ill patients can easily fall through the cracks in a fragmented health care system, leading to poorer outcomes and costly hospital stays and emergency department visits. Closing these gaps is a rising priority in payment model demonstrations by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). Read more…

    ·         Staff Poaching on Rise Amid Hospice Labor Shortage

    By Holly Vossel | June 14, 2022

    As hospices continue to duke it out in the labor market, more providers are contending with competitors poaching their employees. A number of hospice leaders have told Hospice News that poaching is becoming a greater source of tension in the industry’s recruitment and retention ground war. This often comes with promises of higher wages, more extensive benefit packages or sign-on bonuses. Read more…

    ·         Quality Measures: Will the CMS Hospice Care Index Actually Work?

    By Jim Parker | June 1, 2022

    The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) designed the Hospice Care Index (HCI) to paint a picture of care processes that occur between a patient’s admission and discharge, but as currently designed it may not be an effective measure of quality. Payers and referral partners are paying closer attention to hospices’ performance on publicly reported quality measures, which as of Fiscal Year 2022 includes the HCI. Each provider receives a single numerical score ranging from zero to 10, based on a set of quality indicators. Read more…

    Hospice News, which is part of the Aging Media Network, is a leading source for news and information covering the hospice industry. National Association for Home Care and Hospiceis the largest professional association representing the interests of chronically ill, disabled, and dying Americans of all ages and the caregivers who provide them with in-home health and hospice services.

  • June 28, 2022 11:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The latest Marquette University Law Poll, which was released on June 22, shows that Wisconsin’s top political races – for governor and the U.S. Senate – are extremely close less than a month and a half from the primary and a little more than four months from the November general election.

    In the Republican primary for governor, which will be held on Aug. 9, former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch is in a dead heat with construction magnate Tim Michels. The poll results showed 27 percent of Republican respondents favored Michels, while 26 percent backed Kleefisch. Other GOP candidates did not break the 10 percent mark.

    GOP Governor Primary:

    • Michels – 27%
    • Kleefisch – 26%
    • Businessman Kevin Nicholson – 10%
    • State. Rep Tim Ramthun – 3%
    • Other or Undecided – 34%

    The poll also showed that all GOP candidates trailed incumbent Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers (D) in projected head-to-head general election matchups:

    • Evers: 47% — Kleefisch: 43%
    • Evers: 48% — Michels: 41%
    • Evers: 48% — Nicholson: 40%
    • Evers: 51% — Ramthun: 34%

    In the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, the winner of which will face incumbent U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R), current Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes led the pack with 25 percent support from Democratic poll respondents. Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry came in at 21percent, while Wisconsin State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski received 9 percent support.

    • Barnes – 25%
    • Lasry – 21%
    • Godlewski – 9%
    • Outagamie County Exec Tom Nelson – 7%
    • Other or Undecided – 38%

    In addition, the poll also showed Barnes, Godlewski, and Nelson all leading Sen. Johnson in potential general election matchups:

    • Barnes: 46% — Johnson: 44%
    • Godlewski: 45% — Johnson: 43%
    • Nelson: 44% — Johnson: 43%
    • Johnson: 45% — Lasry: 42%

  • June 28, 2022 11:29 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    • The National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation (NPHI) recently sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) urging Congress to take immediate action to prevent the one percent Medicare payment cut set to go into effect on July 1, 2022. With hospices already facing potentially devastating financial pressures, the NPHI request stresses the negative consequences of the cut and strongly encourages Congress to avert the reduction before it’s too late. NPHI was joined by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC), and LeadingAge in sharing these sentiments with Congressional leaders. The full letter can be found here.

    • U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) have reintroduced the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA), a bipartisan bill to grow, improve and sustain the palliative and hospice care workforce to keep pace with patients’ needs and to help improve the well-being of Americans with life-threatening illnesses and their families. A one pager on the bill is available here. Full text of the legislation is available here. WiHPCA members can help advance this important legislation by contacting their members of Congress and urging them to support the proposal through the NHPCO’s Hospice Action Network. The network is completely automated. You simply need to enter your name, address, and limited contact information and the Network takes care of the rest.
    • Earlier this month, NPHI released their submitted comments to CMS regarding the FY23 Hospice Payment Rate Update proposed rule [fact sheetfull rule]. NPHI's full comment letter can be found here. The final rule including responses from CMS to comments and questions raised by stakeholders is expected to be released later this summer.

  • June 28, 2022 11:23 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Earlier this year, you had an opportunity to respond to WiHPCA’s Legislative and Regulatory Priorities survey, allowing you to provide your input on what policy issues are most important to you, your organization, and the Wisconsin hospice and palliative care industry. The purpose of surveying the membership was to collect valuable data to help association leadership develop the WiHPCA policy agenda and determine what legislative and regulatory issues the organization should make a priority in 2023-2024.

    Together, with your feedback as the foundation of the decision-making process, the WiHPCA Legislative Committee and Board considered the following criteria when finalizing the association’s policy agenda and issue priorities: 1.) The benefit to WiHPCA members; 3.) The extent to which it will improve hospice and palliative care in Wisconsin; and 3.) The likelihood of legislative/regulatory success.

    With that in mind, WiHPCA is pleased to present members with our 2023-24 Policy Agenda, which will be used to guide the association’s advocacy efforts over the next two years.

    The WiHPCA Policy Agenda provides a broad policy vision for advancing hospice and palliative care in Wisconsin and identifies the following specific legislative and regulatory goals for 2023-24:

    • Educate the Wisconsin congressional delegation and state lawmakers on the potential negative impact the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation VBID “Hospice Carve-In” pilot program could have on the long-term viability of hospice care in Wisconsin.
    • Educate key state policymakers – including federal and state lawmakers and the WI Department of Health Services – on the inequity of the nursing home room and board Medicaid pass-through billing requirement imposed on hospice care. The ultimate goal is to eliminate or reduce the negative impact of the current policy.
    • Promote public awareness and increase policy influence of palliative care, such as the creation of state palliative care advisory council.

    Thank you to all WiHPCA members who responded to the Legislative and Regulatory Priorities survey. Your feedback was invaluable to our policy agenda development process.

  • June 28, 2022 11:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Hoven Consulting  – WiHPCA’s lobbying firm

    • Legislative Council Study Committee Members Announced

    As mentioned in a prior WiHPCA monthly newsletter, the legislature organizes study committees in even-numbered years to hold public hearings and perform in-depth reviews of various state policy matters facing Wisconsin.  Legislators and members of the public are members of these committees.  Once these committees complete their series of public hearings in late 2022 or early 2023, they will draft legislation to address these policy areas and submit them to the legislature for possible consideration. 

    Two of these committees will likely be of interest to WiHPCA members:  the Study Committee on Occupational Licenses and the Study Committee on Uniform Death Reporting Standards.  In early June, the legislature selected members of both committees.  The Occupational Licenses committee includes two members from the health care field – a senior vice president from the Wisconsin Hospital Association and the director of business development from a rural community clinic.  The Uniform Death Reporting Standards committee includes two medical examiners and a public health nurse. 

    These committees will likely hold their first meeting later this summer.  The committees will hold public, in-person meetings in Madison once per month until they have completed their work.  It is likely that these committee meetings will be streamed live on Wisconsin Eye.  Of course, the WiHPCA government affairs team will monitor the work of these committees.  

    • DHS Announces Grant Program Promoting Health Equity in COVID-19 Vaccinations

    In May, the state Department of Health Services announced their “Moving Forward Together Grant Program”.  This program is intended to improve equity with respect to COVID-19 vaccination in Wisconsin.  Various community organizations are eligible to apply for grant awards, which are capped at $400,000 per grant, to improve COVID-19 vaccination rates in Wisconsin, particularly in underserved communities.  DHS will accept grant applications on a rolling basis until funding is no longer available.  However, it is important to note that grant expense reimbursement will occur through November 30, 2022.  More information is available at:  https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/moving-forward-together-grant.htm

    • DSPS Eliminates Fees to Increase Participation in the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

    In early June, the state Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) announced that the agency is no longer charging fees to integrate the Enhanced Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (ePDMP) into electronic health record systems managed by health systems and other health care entities.  The intent is to simplify access for health care organizations, as well as increase wider participation within the health care community.  To apply for a no-monthly fee ePDMP integration or for more information, go to the ePDMP website

    • Spotlight--2022 State Legislative Campaign – 19th State Senate District

    Starting in this month’s Madison Update, we will highlight one notable race for a particular state legislative district.  This month, we will highlight the 19th Senate District, a Fox Valley district that includes the communities of Appleton, Menasha and Neenah. 

    The 19th Senate District is represented by Roger Roth (R-Appleton), who is currently running for the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor. With Senators Roth’s departure, the district could be competitive, as Senator Roth was re-elected to this position in 2018 with a margin of 6.5 percent over his Democratic opponent. However, the August 9 Republican primary will likely determine who will be the next Senator for the 19th Senate District due to the Republican lean of this district. The following is a brief overview of the two Republican candidates seeking the nomination for the 19th Senate District, as well as the one Democratic candidate. 

    The candidates for the 19th Senate District are Republicans Rachael Cabral-Guevara and Andrew Thomsen, as well as Democrat Kristin Alfheim

    •    Rachael Cabral-Guevara is currently an incumbent State Representative, representing Neenah and portions of Menasha and Appleton in the 55th Assembly District.  She is a member of the Assembly Health Committee, in addition to working as a nurse practitioner.  Rep. Cabral-Guevara also operates the Nurse Practitioner Health Services, LLC clinic in Appleton.  Her healthcare platform includes medical transparency and accountability, fighting medical fraud and supporting mental health treatment/rehabilitation programs.   
    •    Andrew Thomsen is a recently retired sales professional and small business owner with experience in the pulp and paper industry.  If elected, he intends to be a full-time legislator.  He is running on a platform that includes a number of issues, including health care policy.  According to his website, he notes the following related views:
      • “Healthcare must be patient centered.”
      • “Healthcare must adhere to free market principles in order to provide improved service at a reduced cost.”
      • “Increased resources and funding for mental health research and treatment.”
    •    Kristin Alfheim is a member of the City of Appleton’s Common Council and has served on the city’s Taskforce on Resiliency, Climate Mitigation and Adaptation.  She is currently a Retirement Income Certified Professional and has worked in the financial services and insurance industry for over 20 years.  In addition, she served as the president of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors in 2019, as well as on the organization’s board of directors.  Her campaign website addresses her view on a number of policy areas, including health care.  In particular, her website states the following:  “We need to reduce the administrative burdens on doctors and nurses so they can spend more time helping their patients.  Kristin also believes alternative medicine options may provide affordable, non-addictive solutions to add to our traditional protocols.”  

  • June 16, 2022 8:24 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Save the date for the WiHPCA 2022 Annual Conference - Facing the Future - Together on September 26-27, 2022 at The Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells, WI. Topics include: Comprehensive, Strategic and Sustainable Hospice Grief Support; The Macy Catheter: An In-depth Introduction to How it is Used and Why it is Becoming an Emerging Standard of Care; Unconventional Growth Strategies for Today’s Hospice Landscape; and Providing Culturally Sensitive Care at End of Life. Registration will be opening later this month!

Wisconsin Hospice and Palliative Care Association

563 Carter Ct, Suite B

Kimberly, WI 54136

Phone: 920-750-7726 | Fax: 920-882-3655

Email: wihpca@badgerbay.co

© Copyright 2020 Wisconsin Hospice Care and Palliative Association.   All rights reserved.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software