HHS Launches Probe Into Unusual Billing Patterns For Inpatient Hospice Care
Modern Healthcare: Unusual Billing Patterns Spur Probe Of Inpatient Hospice Care
HHS' inspector general's office is launching an in-depth investigation into cases where Medicare hospice beneficiaries get inpatient care, following unusual billing patterns that surfaced during recent research on the $1.1 billion industry. Medicare hospice is designed to provide comfort to patients with six months to live, not life-saving treatments. However, in some cases, Medicare hospice patients do qualify for palliative inpatient care—and a new OIG study found that a high proportion of those lucrative services go to patients who stay in a certain type of provider, raising questions about the bills in those settings (Carlson, 5/6).