VBID Model Hospice Benefit Component Quick Links:
Did You Know?
The CY 2021 Hospice Benefit Component is part of the larger VBID Model, which has 19 Medicare Advantage organizations (MAOs), providing care to 1.6 million Medicare patients in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
Beginning on January 1, 2021, CMS is testing the inclusion of the Part A Hospice Benefit within the MA benefits package through the Hospice Benefit Component of the Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) Model. This test allows CMS to assess the impact on care delivery and quality of care, especially for palliative and hospice care, when participating Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are financially responsible for all Parts A and B benefits.
Currently, when an enrollee in an MA plan elects hospice, Fee-for-Service (FFS) Medicare becomes financially responsible for most services, while the MAO retains responsibility for certain services (e.g., supplemental benefits). Under the Hospice Benefit Component of the VBID Model, participating MAOs retain responsibility for all Original Medicare services, including hospice care. The Hospice Benefit Component of the Model implements a set of changes recommended by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), the Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG), and other stakeholders.
Information for Hospice Providers
CMS requires participating plans to communicate with hospice providers in its service area. CMS encourages hospice providers to communicate with participating plans regarding any questions about joining the plan’s network of hospice providers. For questions about enrollment, billing, claims, and contracting related to enrollees of participating plans, hospice providers should contact the participating MAO. For questions about the Model, please contact CMS at VBID@cms.hhs.gov.
Top Three Things Hospice Providers Need to Know
- You must send all notices and claims to both the participating MAO and your MAC. The MAO will process payment, and the MAC will process the claims for informational and operational purposes and for CMS to monitor the Model.
- If you contract to provide hospice services with the plan, be sure to confirm billing and processing steps before January 1, 2021, as they may be different.
Note: While we encourage you to reach out to participating MAOs about contracting opportunities, you are not required to contract. If you choose not to contract, the participating MAO must continue to pay you at least equivalent to Original Medicare rates for Medicare-covered hospice care.
- The Model does not permit prior authorization requirements around hospice elections or transitions between different levels of hospice care.