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12VAC30-60-130. Hospice services.

A. Admission criteria.

1. Service election. To be eligible for hospice coverage under Medicare or Medicaid, the recipient shall be "terminally ill," defined as having a life expectancy of six months or less, and except for individuals under 21 years of age, elect to receive hospice services rather than active treatment for the illness. Both the attending physician (if the individual has an attending physician) and the hospice medical director, or the attending physician and the physician member of the interdisciplinary team, must initially certify the life expectancy. The election statement shall include (i) identification of the hospice that will provide care to the individual; (ii) the individual's or representative's acknowledgement that he 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; (iii) with the exception of children, defined as persons younger than 21 years of age, acknowledgement that certain Medicaid services are waived by the election; (iv) the effective date of the election; and (v) the signature of the individual or representative.

2. Service revocation. The recipient shall have the right to revoke his election of hospice services at any time during the covered hospice periods. DMAS shall be contacted if the recipient revokes his hospices services. If the recipient reelects the hospice services, the hospice periods will begin as an initial time frame. Therefore, the above certification and time requirements will apply. The recipient cannot retroactively receive hospice benefits from previously unused hospice periods. The recipient's written revocation statement shall be maintained in the recipient's medical record.

B. General conditions. The general conditions provided in this subsection apply to nursing care, medical social services, physician services, counseling services, short-term inpatient care, durable medical equipment and supplies, drugs and biologicals, home health aide and homemaker services, and rehabilitation services.

The recipient shall be under the care of a physician who is legally authorized to practice and who is acting within the scope of his license. The hospice medical director or the physician member of the interdisciplinary team shall be a licensed doctor of medicine or osteopathy. Hospice services may be provided in the recipient's home or in a freestanding hospice, hospital or nursing facility.

The hospice shall obtain the written certification that an individual is terminally ill in accordance with the following procedures:

1. For the initial 90-day benefit period of hospice coverage, a Medicaid written certification (DMAS 420) shall be signed and dated by the medical director of the hospice and the attending physician, or the physician member of the hospice interdisciplinary team and the attending physician, at the beginning of the certification period. This initial certification shall be submitted for preauthorization within 14 days from the physician's signature date. This certification shall be maintained in the recipient's medical record.

2. For the subsequent 90-day hospice period, a Medicaid written certification (DMAS 420) shall be signed and dated before or on the begin date of the 90-day hospice period by the medical director of the hospice or the physician member of the hospice's interdisciplinary team. The certification shall include the statement that the recipient's medical prognosis is that his life expectancy is six months or less. This certification of continued need for hospice services shall be maintained in the recipient's medical record.

3. After the second 90-day hospice period and until the recipient is no longer in the Medicaid hospice program, a Medicaid written certification shall be signed and dated every 60 days on or before the begin date of the 60-day period. This certification statement shall be signed and dated by the medical director of the hospice or the physician member of the hospice's interdisciplinary team. The certification shall include the statement that the recipient's medical prognosis is that his life expectancy is six months or less. This certification shall be maintained in the recipient's medical record.

C. Utilization review. Authorization for hospice services requires an initial preauthorization by DMAS and physician certification of life expectancy. Utilization review will be conducted to determine if services were provided by the appropriate provider and to ensure that the services provided to Medicaid recipients are medically necessary and appropriate. Services not specifically documented in the recipients' medical records as having been rendered shall be deemed not to have been rendered and no coverage shall be provided. All hospice services shall be provided in accordance with guidelines established in the Virginia Medicaid Hospice Manual.

D. Hospice services are a medically directed, interdisciplinary program of palliative services for terminally ill people and their families, emphasizing pain and symptom control. The rules pertaining to them are:

1. Interdisciplinary team. An interdisciplinary team shall include at least the following individuals: a physician (either a hospice employee or a contract physician), a registered nurse, a social worker, and a pastoral or other counselor. Other professionals may also be members of the interdisciplinary team depending on the terminally ill recipient's medical needs.

2. Nursing care. Nursing care shall be provided by a registered nurse or by a licensed practical nurse under the supervision of a graduate of an approved school of professional nursing and who is licensed as a registered nurse.

3. Medical social services. Medical social services shall be provided by a social worker who has at least a bachelor's degree from a school accredited or approved by the Council on Social Work Education, and who is working under the direction of a physician.

4. Physician services. Physician services shall be performed by a professional who is licensed to practice, who is acting within the scope of his license, and who is a doctor of medicine or osteopathy, a doctor of dental surgery or dental medicine, a doctor of podiatric medicine, a doctor of optometry, or a chiropractor. The hospice medical director or the physician member of the interdisciplinary team shall be a licensed doctor of medicine or osteopathy.

5. Counseling services. Counseling services shall be provided to the terminally ill individual and the family members or other persons caring for the individual at home. Counseling, including dietary counseling, may be provided both for the purpose of training the individual's family or other caregiver to provide care, and for the purpose of helping the individual and those caring for him to adjust to the individual's approaching death. Bereavement counseling consists of counseling services provided to the individual's family up to one year after the individual's death. Bereavement counseling is a required hospice service, but it is not reimbursable.

6. Short-term inpatient care. Short-term inpatient care may be provided in a participating hospice inpatient unit, or a participating hospital or nursing facility. General inpatient care may be required for procedures necessary for pain control or acute or chronic symptom management which cannot be provided in other settings. Inpatient care may also be furnished to provide respite for the individual's family or other persons caring for the individual at home.

7. Durable medical equipment and supplies. Durable medical equipment as well as other self-help and personal comfort items related to the palliation or management of the patient's terminal illness is covered. Medical supplies include those that are part of the written plan of care.

8. Drugs and biologicals. Only drugs which are used primarily for the relief of pain and symptom control related to the individual's terminal illness are covered.

9. Home health aide and homemaker services. Home health aides providing services to hospice recipients shall meet the qualifications specified for home health aides by 42 CFR 484.36. Home health aides may provide personal care services. Aides may also perform household services to maintain a safe and sanitary environment in areas of the home used by the patient, such as changing the bed or light cleaning and laundering essential to the comfort and cleanliness of the patient. Homemaker services may include assistance in personal care, maintenance of a safe and healthy environment and services to enable the individual to carry out the plan of care. Home health aide and homemaker services shall be provided under the general supervision of a registered nurse.

10. Rehabilitation services. Rehabilitation services include physical and occupational therapies and speech-language pathology services that are used for purposes of symptom control or to enable the individual to maintain activities of daily living and basic functional skills.

a. Occupational therapy services shall be those services furnished a patient which meet all of the following conditions:

(1) The services shall be directly and specifically related to an active written treatment plan designed by the physician after any needed consultation with an occupational therapist registered and certified by the American Occupational Therapy Certification Board;

(2) The services shall be of a level of complexity and sophistication, or the condition of the patient shall be of a nature, that the services can only be performed by an occupational therapist registered and certified by the American Occupational Therapy Certification Board or an occupational therapy assistant certified by the American Occupational Therapy Certification Board under the direct supervision of an occupational therapist as defined above; and

(3) The services shall be specific and provide effective treatment for the patient's condition in accordance with accepted standards of medical practice, including the requirement that the amount, frequency, and duration of the services shall be reasonable.

b. Physical therapy services shall be those furnished a patient which meet all of the following conditions:

(1) The services shall be directly and specifically related to an active written treatment plan designed by a physician after any needed consultation with a physical therapist licensed by the Board of Medicine;

(2) The services shall be of a level of complexity and sophistication, or the condition of the patient shall be of a nature, that the services can only be performed by a physical therapist licensed by the Board of Medicine, or a physical therapy assistant who is licensed by the Board of Medicine and under the direct supervision of a physical therapist licensed by the Board of Medicine; and

(3) The services shall be specific and provide effective treatment for the patient's condition in accordance with accepted standards of medical practice, including the requirement that the amount, frequency, and duration of the services shall be reasonable.

c. Speech-language pathology services shall be those services furnished a patient which meet all of the following conditions:

(1) The services shall be directly and specifically related to an active written treatment plan designed by a physician after any needed consultation with a speech-language pathologist licensed by the Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology;

(2) The services shall be of a level of complexity and sophistication, or the condition of the patient shall be of a nature, that the services can only be performed by a speech-language pathologist licensed by the Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology; and

(3) The services shall be specific and provide effective treatment for the patient's condition in accordance with accepted standards of medical practice, including the requirement that the amount, frequency, and duration of the services shall be reasonable.

11. Documentation of hospice services shall be maintained in the recipient's medical record. Coordination of patient care between all health care professionals should be maintained in the recipient's medical record.

Statutory Authority

32.1-325 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR460-02-3.1300, 9.1 through 9.3, eff. August 1, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 22, eff. September 1, 1994; Volume 11, Issue 17, eff. July 1, 1995; Volume 12, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1996; Volume 16, Issue 6, eff. January 5, 2000; Volume 27, Issue 3, eff. November 10, 2010.


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