Humana to cover hospice care on some Medicare Advantage plans in five markets
Humana on Wednesday announced it started offering hospice care on some of its Medicare Advantage plans in Atlanta, Cleveland, Denver, the Louisville, Ky. metro area and the Richmond-Tidewater region of Virginia at the start of this year.
The move is part of a four-year Medicare demonstration through to gauge if covering hospice services under Medicare Part A benefits creates improves care, innovation, quality and access to care, according to a news release.
Susan Diamond, president of Humana’s Home business, said she hopes the program will remove barriers to care.
“Too often, patients electing hospice care do so in the final days or weeks of life, rather than at the start of their eligibility. As a result, they and their families miss an opportunity to take full advantage of a wide range of benefits, including improved access to palliative care and caregiver support, as well as important transitional care services,” Diamond said. “Our goal is to allow for a single continuous care team, as opposed to the handoffs that typically occur today.”
Under the pilot program, Humana hopes members will be able to keep their care teams when they need palliative or hospice care. The value-based insurance model also is meant to extend the amount of time members are enrolled in hospice care to avoid unnecessary hospitalizations as their illnesses progress, the company said.
The program will run through 2024, and Humama looks to expand it to cover more members in 2022, pending CMS approval.