Hospice Handoffs May Lower Odds of Medicare Denials

Better communication between primary care clinicians and hospice providers can reduce the number of denied Medicare approvals for end-of-life treatment. Dr. Tyler Haussler conducted a study showing that poor documentation by physicians often leads to denials by CMS. Having a face-to-face conversation between the referring physician and hospice medical director improved the quality of documentation and understanding of hospice appropriateness. This process also helped caregivers and loved ones understand disease progression and end-of-life care. The study found that a handoff discussion between physicians and medical directors resulted in no Medicare denials in 2023. Future research should explore how these handoffs can improve patient care on hospice.

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