Catholic Hospice is awarded to participate in the Medicare Care Choice Model Program

Miami Lakes, FL- July 20, 2015- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that Catholic Hospice has been selected to participate in a new model that empowers beneficiaries, their families, and clinicians by providing them with greater flexibility in deciding between hospice care and curative treatment when faced with life limiting illness. The Medicare Care Choices 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 supportive care services typically provided by hospice, while continuing to receive curative services.

Hospice care is covered by both the Medicare and Medicaid programs. When hospice care is chosen, a beneficiary is no longer eligible to receive curative care. According to March 2015 Medicare Payment Policy Report to the Congress, only 47.3 percent of Medicare and 42 percent of dually eligible beneficiaries used hospice care and most only for a short period of time. This data reflects the struggle in having to choose between palliative and curative care during these difficult times.

Catholic Hospice has been selected as one of the 10 Hospices in the State of Florida to participate in the Medicare Care Choice Model Program beginning January 1st, 2016. Catholic Hospice is a community-based not-for-profit program serving the South Florida community since 1988. Through the CMS selection process, Catholic Hospice demonstrated excellence in providing coordination of services, case management, and shared decision-making with beneficiaries and their families prior to electing the Medicare or Medicaid hospice benefit in conjunction with their referring providers.

The Medicare Care Choice Model Program is designed to evaluate whether eligible Medicare and dually eligible beneficiaries would elect to receive supportive care services typically provided by hospice if they could also continue to receive curative services and whether providing both palliative and curative care concurrently impacts quality of care, as well as patient and family satisfaction.

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For more information on Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, contact (202) 690-6145 or visit http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2015pres/07/20150720a.htm.
For more information on Catholic Hospice, please contact Katharine Cue Fuente, Community Development Coordinator, kfuente@catholichospice.org or 305-351-7084. ####

About Catholic Hospice

Catholic Hospice is a not-for-profit  health care organization providing end-of-life care to terminally ill patients and their families throughout Miami-Dade and Broward County. Catholic Hospice is dedicated to the preservation of the quality of life of people facing end of life issues. They provide pain control and symptom management, as well as spiritual and psychological support to over 500 patients and their bereaved families daily, regardless of race, religion, age, gender, ethnic background, handicap, diagnosis or financial resources. Catholic Hospice also sponsors programs such as the L’chaim Jewish Hospice Program, Wishes Granted, Pet Peace of Mind®, We Honor Veterans, Camp Erin®: a bereavement camp for children, and other bereavement support groups.