Clearly I am nowhere near finished digesting the 757 pages of the final Medicare Hospice Conditions of Participation, but, since I have read until my eyes can’t take it any longer, I figured I’d give you my first impression. I reserve the right to change my mind, but, at this point, I’m impressed with what Medicare has done.
Shockingly, I believe Medicare has done a good job here. Perfect? Of course not. Good? Yes. What has impressed me is the thoughtfulness Medicare has shown in dealing with the comments submitted by people within the industry when they published the proposed rules a few years ago. Over 400 of the 757 pages deal with comments made during that period and Medicare’s reaction to them. From what I have read so far, Medicare listened to and understood the concerns of the hospice industry and made the changes necessary to make the regulations better. There are still some parts that are unclear to me, but that’s just part of working with the government.
I’m sure I will find quite a few details that I’m none too thrilled about, but overall, it seems that these new regulations may have succeeded in making the Medicare Hospice Benefit better.