CMS reports that the proposed Hospice Conditions of Participation (COPs) are now in the final clearance process at the Office of Management and Budget and should be available for public comment later this Spring. The proposed rule will be published for public review in the Federal Register with a sixty-day comment period. NHPCO will be analyzing the draft regulations and actively involved in soliciting comments. It will take additional time for CMS to review and process the comments and then release the final regulations. This is the first major set of revisions to the COPs since 1983 and NHPCO has been involved in this process and tracking the progress for a number of years.
Only the government could announce that they may, in a few months, let you know about an idea that they have that may totally change your life. Seriously, the changes in the COPs could rock the whole hospice world. The rumor that new COPs were coming is not a new one as evidenced by the fact that my first ever post on this site was about this subject last July. (For more of my thoughts go here, here, here, here) With this coming and the hint that they may actually cut Medicare’s budget this year, I feel like I’m totally at the mercy of the government. I do not debate that both need to be done, but I hope they do both of those things right. (I doubt they will, but I can dream.)
Obviously, if CMS actually does decide to release new COPs, Hospiceblog will report. Until then, we’ll hold our breath.