42 CFR § 418.24 - Election of hospice care.

§ 418.24 Election of hospice care.
Link to an amendment published at 86 FR 42605, Aug. 4, 2021.

(a) Filing an election statement.

(1) General. An individual who meets the eligibility requirement of § 418.20 may file an election statement with a particular hospice. If the individual is physically or mentally incapacitated, his or her representative (as defined in § 418.3) may file the election statement.

(2) Notice of election. The hospice chosen by the eligible individual (or his or her representative) must file the Notice of Election (NOE) with its Medicare contractor within 5 calendar days after the effective date of the election statement.

(3) Consequences of failure to submit a timely notice of election. When a hospice does not file the required Notice of Election for its Medicare patients within 5 calendar days after the effective date of election, Medicare will not cover and pay for days of hospice care from the effective date of election to the date of filing of the notice of election. These days are a provider liability, and the provider may not bill the beneficiary for them.

(4) Exception to the consequences for filing the NOE late. CMS may waive the consequences of failure to submit a timely-filed NOE specified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section. CMS will determine if a circumstance encountered by a hospice is exceptional and qualifies for waiver of the consequence specified in paragraph (a)(3) of this section. A hospice must fully document and furnish any requested documentation to CMS for a determination of exception. An exceptional circumstance may be due to, but is not limited to the following:

(i) Fires, floods, earthquakes, or similar unusual events that inflict extensive damage to the hospice's ability to operate.

(ii) A CMS or Medicare contractor systems issue that is beyond the control of the hospice.

(iii) A newly Medicare-certified hospice that is notified of that certification after the Medicare certification date, or which is awaiting its user ID from its Medicare contractor.

(iv) Other situations determined by CMS to be beyond the control of the hospice.

(b) Content of election statement. The election statement must include the following:

(1) Identification of the particular hospice and of the attending physician that will provide care to the individual. The individual or representative must acknowledge that the identified attending physician was his or her choice.

(2) The individual's or representative's acknowledgement that he or she has been given a full understanding of the palliative rather than curative nature of hospice care, as it relates to the individual's terminal illness and related conditions.

(3) Acknowledgement that the individual has been provided information on the hospice's coverage responsibility and that certain Medicare services, as set forth in paragraph (e) of this section, are waived by the election. For Hospice elections beginning on or after October 1, 2020, this would include providing the individual with information indicating that services unrelated to the terminal illness and related conditions are exceptional and unusual and hospice should be providing virtually all care needed by the individual who has elected hospice.

(4) The effective date of the election, which may be the first day of hospice care or a later date, but may be no earlier than the date of the election statement.

(5) For Hospice elections beginning on or after October 1, 2020, the Hospice must provide information on individual cost-sharing for hospice services.

(6) For Hospice elections beginning on or after October 1, 2020, the Hospice must provide notification of the individual's (or representative's) right to receive an election statement addendum, as set forth in paragraph (c) of this section, if there are conditions, items, services, and drugs the hospice has determined to be unrelated to the individual's terminal illness and related conditions and would not be covered by the hospice.

(7) For Hospice elections beginning on or after October 1, 2020, the Hospice must provide information on the Beneficiary and Family Centered Care Quality Improvement Organization (BFCC-QIO), including the right to immediate advocacy and BFCC-QIO contact information.

(8) The signature of the individual or representative.

(c) Content of hospice election statement addendum. For Hospice elections beginning on or after October 1, 2020, in the event that the hospice determines there are conditions, items, services, or drugs that are unrelated to the individual's terminal illness and related conditions, the individual (or representative), non-hospice providers furnishing such items, services, or drugs, or Medicare contractors may request a written list as an addendum to the election statement. If the election statement addendum is requested at the time of initial hospice election (that is, at the time of admission to hospice), the hospice must provide this information, in writing, to the individual (or representative) within 5 days from the date of the election. If this addendum is requested during the course of hospice care (that is, after the hospice election date), the hospice must provide this information, in writing, within 72 hours of the request to the requesting individual (or representative), non-hospice provider, or Medicare contractor. If there are any changes to the content on the addendum during the course of hospice care, the hospice must update the addendum and provide these updates, in writing, to the individual (or representative). The election statement addendum must include the following:

(1) The addendum must be titled “Patient Notification of Hospice Non-Covered Items, Services, and Drugs.”

(2) Name of the hospice.

(3) Individual's name and hospice medical record identifier.

(4) Identification of the individual's terminal illness and related conditions.

(5) A list of the individual's conditions present on hospice admission (or upon plan of care update) and the associated items, services, and drugs not covered by the hospice because they have been determined by the hospice to be unrelated to the terminal illness and related conditions.

(6) A written clinical explanation, in language the individual (or representative) can understand, as to why the identified conditions, items, services, and drugs are considered unrelated to the individual's terminal illness and related conditions and not needed for pain or symptom management. This clinical explanation must be accompanied by a general statement that the decision as to whether or not conditions, items, services, and drugs are related is made for each patient and that the individual should share this clinical explanation with other health care providers from which they seek items, services, or drugs unrelated to their terminal illness and related conditions.

(7) References to any relevant clinical practice, policy, or coverage guidelines.

(8) Information on the following:

(i) Purpose of Addendum. The purpose of the addendum is to notify the individual (or representative), in writing, of those conditions, items, services, and drugs the hospice will not be covering because the hospice has determined they are unrelated to the individual's terminal illness and related conditions.

(ii) Right to Immediate Advocacy. The addendum must include language that immediate advocacy is available through the Medicare Beneficiary and Family Centered Care-Quality Improvement Organization (BFCC-QIO) if the individual (or representative) disagrees with the hospice's determination.

(9) Name and signature of the individual (or representative) and date signed, along with a statement that signing this addendum (or its updates) is only acknowledgement of receipt of the addendum (or its updates) and not necessarily the individual's (or representative's) agreement with the hospice's determinations.

(d) Duration of election. An election to receive hospice care will be considered to continue through the initial election period and through the subsequent election periods without a break in care as long as the individual -

(1) Remains in the care of a hospice;

(2) Does not revoke the election; and

(3) Is not discharged from the hospice under the provisions of § 418.26.

(e) Waiver of other benefits. For the duration of an election of hospice care, an individual waives all rights to Medicare payments for the following services:

(1) Hospice care provided by a hospice other than the hospice designated by the individual (unless provided under arrangements made by the designated hospice).

(2) Any Medicare services that are related to the treatment of the terminal condition for which hospice care was elected or a related condition or that are equivalent to hospice care except for services -

(i) Provided by the designated hospice:

(ii) Provided by another hospice under arrangements made by the designated hospice; and

(iii) Provided by the individual's attending physician if that physician is not an employee of the designated hospice or receiving compensation from the hospice for those services.

(f) Re-election of hospice benefits. If an election has been revoked in accordance with § 418.28, the individual (or his or her representative if the individual is mentally or physically incapacitated) may at any time file an election, in accordance with this section, for any other election period that is still available to the individual.

(g) Changing the attending physician. To change the designated attending physician, the individual (or representative) must file a signed statement with the hospice that states that he or she is changing his or her attending physician.

(1) The statement must identify the new attending physician, and include the date the change is to be effective and the date signed by the individual (or representative).

(2) The individual (or representative) must acknowledge that the change in the attending physician is due to his or her choice.

(3) The effective date of the change in attending physician cannot be before the date the statement is signed.

[55 FR 50834, Dec. 11, 1990, as amended at 70 FR 70547, Nov. 22, 2005; 79 FR 50509, Aug. 22, 2014; 84 FR 38544, Aug. 6, 2019]

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