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OBRA Revisions Compel Written Agreements Between Nursing Home and Hospice Providers

On June 27, 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services adopted a final rule amending the Nursing Facility Requirements of Participation (OBRA) and requiring nursing homes to execute written agreements, or amend existing agreements, with Hospice providers consistent with the new OBRA requirements. The purpose of the new regulations is to improve quality and consistency of care between Hospice providers and nursing facilities in the provision of hospice services to residents of nursing facilities. The written agreement between a hospice and a nursing facility must specify the roles and responsibilities of each entity, ensuring no "overlap" of core services to be provided by the hospice, and specifying the process through which the providers communicate about resident care . The regulations specify minimum requirements that must be set forth in such written agreement. The new regulatory provisions mirror the requirements contained in the Hospice Conditions of Participation, and are now being imposed equally on nursing facilities. The effective date of the new regulations is August 26, 2013. As such, nursing facilities that arrange for the provision of hospice services through one or more Medicare-certified hospice providers will need to ensure that a compliant written agreement is in place.

If you have any questions regarding the new regulations, or would like assistance in developing a new agreement or reviewing your existing agreement for regulatory compliance, please feel free to contact David C. Marshall, Esq., or Dayna E. Mancuso, Esq.

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