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August 7, 2015

Care Dimensions selected to participate in the Medicare Care Choices Model

Care Dimensions has been selected to participate in the Medicare Care Choices Model, announced in July by Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. 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. This program is part of a larger effort at HHS to transform our health care system to deliver better care, spend our dollars in a smarter way, and puts patients in the center of their care.

“We are honored to participate in the Medicare Care Choices Model,” said Care Dimensions President and CEO Diane Stringer. “We know this is an important step to allow for increased choice and improved healthcare for terminally ill patients.”

All eligible hospices across the country were invited to apply to participate in the model. Due to robust interest, CMS expanded the model from an originally anticipated 30 Medicare-certified hospices to over 140 Medicare-certified hospices and extended the duration of the model from 3 to 5 years. This is expected to enable as many as 150,000 eligible Medicare beneficiaries with advanced cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, and human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome who receive services from participating hospices to experience this new option and flexibility.

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 January 1, 2016 for the first phase of participating hospices and in January 2018 for the remaining participating hospices.

Individuals who wish to receive services under the model must fall into certain categories:
 

  • Must be diagnosed with certain terminal illnesses (e.g., advanced cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure and human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome);
  • Must meet hospice eligibility requirements under the Medicare or Medicaid Hospice Benefit;
  • Must not have elected the Medicare or Medicaid Hospice Benefit within the last 30 days prior to their participation in the Medicare Care Choices Model;
  • Must receive services from a hospice that is participating in the model; and
  • Must have satisfied model’s other eligibility criteria.

Care Dimensions is largest hospice provider to adults and children with advanced illness in Massachusetts. As a non-profit, community-based leader in advanced illness care, Care Dimensions provides comprehensive hospice, palliative care, grief support and teaching programs in more than 90 communities in Eastern Massachusetts. Care Dimensions employs over 400 staff and has nearly 400 volunteers, and provides care to 140 palliative care patients and 650 hospice patients each day. Founded in 1978 as Hospice of the North Shore, Care Dimensions cares for patients – in their homes, in long-term care and assisted living communities, in hospitals and at our Kaplan Family Hospice House – throughout all stages of advanced illness.

For more information about on the model, visit http://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/Medicare-Care-Choices.

 

 


Care Dimensions Employees Celebrate Circle of Life Award 
 

In celebration of winning the prestigious national 2015 Circle of Life award honoring innovation in hospice and palliative care, the staff of Care Dimensions took to song "performing" (with vocal assistance from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir) the iconic Circle of Life song. Enjoy! 

To view photos from our Circle of Life Award celebration, click here

Since 1978, Care Dimensions has provided comprehensive and compassionate care for individuals and families dealing with life-threatening illnesses. As the non-profit leader in advanced illness care, we offer services in more than 90 communities in Eastern Massachusetts.