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Volume 23.09

The Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) of 2021 authorized the Secretary of Health & Human Services to create a Special Focus Program (SFP) which aims to address issues that place hospice beneficiaries at risk for poor quality of care through increased oversight and/or technical assistance. According to CMS, the SFP will help to ensure hospices in the program are held accountable for poor quality of care.

CMS has indicated that a proposal for the structure of the SFP would be included in the home health proposed rules, which is generally issued in mid-summer.

CMS contracted with Abt Associates, Inc. (Abt), an independent research company, to support the development of the hospice SFP. To gain input from key stakeholders on various aspects of the SFP, Abt convened a TEP comprised of a wide range of hospice experts and held four listening sessions with additional stakeholder groups. The TEP and stakeholders opined on the SFP methodology to identify poor performing hospices and other components of the program, including additional oversight and technical assistance to hospices selected for the program to enable continuous improvement.

On April 28, 2023, Abt Associates, Inc. issued their report entitled “2022 Technical Expert Panel and Stakeholder Listening Sessions: Hospice Special Focus Program Summary Report.”  The report is available here

The SFP is only one (1) of the many efforts directed at hospice program integrity.  Hospices need to remain aware of developments regarding SFP as well as other current and planned hospice integrity initiatives of CMS.


The Health Group, LLC is accepting registrations for the 2023 Hospice Financial Management and Administration Conference.  The program will be held at the beautiful Lago Mar Beach Resort, Fort Lauderdale, Florida on November 9-10, 2023.  For 2023 we are focusing on prospective financial and compliance issues of hospices, while still addressing retrospective reporting issues.  This is especially important now as CMS and federal legislators are focusing on integrity as evidenced by the proposed rules for FY2024.  Program information, including registration information, is available here.

We are encouraging anyone who expects to attend to make room reservations at their earliest opportunity.  Many individuals planning on attending the program have already reserved their rooms.  The Lago Mar Beach Resort will sell out for the days of our conference.  Special rates have been secured with the Lago Mar Beach Resort & Club; however, to secure these rates, call (855) 829-2923 and inform the hotel that you are attending “The Health Group, LLC Hospice Financial Administration Conference” or online at https://lagomar.com/.

When making reservations online, go to reservations, click on group code, and enter 2311THEHEA.  Select the dates you will be staying, even if the dates are indicated as not available, select them and your room type.  All attendees are being offered Executive One Bedroom Suites at $235/night.  Resort fees have been waived for our attendees.  If you have a problem, please call the hotel.  The hotel is making the $235/night available for two (2) days prior and two (2) days after the program dates.

Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have regarding the program.