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Community Hospice One of 140 Hospices Selected Nationwide to Participate in the Medicare Care Choices Model

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Inc. is one of 140 hospices nationwide to be selected to participate in the Medicare Care Choices Model – a new option to allow Medicare beneficiaries to receive curative and comfort care at the same time.

The model provides Medicare beneficiaries who qualify for coverage under the Medicare Hospice Benefit and dually eligible beneficiaries who qualify for the Medicaid Hospice Benefit the option to elect to receive supportive care services typically provided by hospice and continue to receive curative services at the same time. The model is part of a larger effort across the nation to transform the U.S. health care system to deliver better care, spend dollars in a smarter way and put patients in the center of their care.

All eligible hospices across the country were invited to apply to participate in the model. Due to robust interest, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services expanded the model from an originally anticipated 30 Medicare-certified hospices to more than 140 Medicare-certified hospices and extended the duration of the model from three to five years. This is expected to enable as many as 150,000 eligible Medicare beneficiaries with advanced cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, human immunodeficiency virus/ acquired immunodeficiency syndrome who receive services from participating hospices to experience this new option and flexibility.

“This model has the potential to fundamentally change the way health care is delivered in this country,” said Susan Ponder-Stansel, president and CEO of Community Hospice. “It’s exciting to be a part of a program that looks to better outcomes while honoring patient choices. Our mission has long been to improve the quality of life for patients and their families, and we’re keenly interested in discovering if this type of model can further enhance advanced illness care overall.”

Community Hospice was selected to participate in the program as part of a competitive process that was open to all eligible hospices around the nation. The application demonstrated the strength of one of the highest quality hospice organizations in the nation with a comprehensive palliative service to both adults (Community Palliative Consultants) and children (Community PedsCare®), and a community-based initiative for advance care planning (Honoring Choices® Florida) as a winning combination.

Participating hospices will provide services under the model that are currently available under the Medicare hospice benefit for routine home care and respite levels of care, but cannot be separately billed under Medicare Parts A, B and D. Services will be available around the clock, 365 calendar days per year and CMS will pay a per beneficiary per month fee ranging from $200 to $400 to participating hospices when delivering these services under the model. Services will begin starting Jan. 1, 2016 for the first phase of participating hospices and in January 2018 for the remaining participating hospices.

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Terry Brown, communications manager, media relations
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