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Library: Policy

317:30-5-531. Coverage for adults

Revised 8-2-22

(a) Definition.  Hospice care is a comprehensive, holistic program of palliative and/or comfort care and support provided to the member and his/her family when a physician certifies that the member has a terminal illness and has a life expectancy of six (6) months or less.

(1) Hospice services must be related to the palliation and management of the member's illness, symptom control, or to enable the individual to maintain activities of daily living and basic functional skills.

(2) Hospice care is performed under the direction of a physician as per the member's plan of care in an approved hospital hospice facility, in-home hospice program, or nursing facility.

(b) Eligibility.  Coverage for hospice services is provided to Medicaid eligible expansion adults only.

(1) Expansion adults defined by 42 Code of Federal Regulations ' 435.119 who are age nineteen (19) or older and under sixty-five (65), at or below one hundred thirty-three percent (133%) of the federal poverty level (FPL), and who are not categorically related to the aged, blind, or disabled eligibility group are eligible for hospice services.

(2) Hospice care eligibility requires physician certification that the member is terminally ill and includes a medical prognosis with a life expectancy of six (6) months or less if the illness runs its normal course. The terminal prognosis also must be supported by clinical documentation in the medical record.

(3) For information regarding hospice provision provided through waivers, refer to Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 317:30-5-763, 317:30-5-1200, and 317:30-5-1202.

(c) Covered services.  Hospice care services can include but not limited to:

(1) Nursing care;

(2) Physician services (e.g., physicians employed or working under arrangements made with the hospice);

(3) Medical equipment and supplies;

(4) Drugs for symptom control and pain relief;

(5) Home health aide services;

(6) Personal care services;

(7) Physical, occupational and/or speech therapy;

(8) Medical social services;

(9) Dietary counseling; and

(10) Grief and bereavement counseling to the member and/or family are required but are not reimbursable.

(d) Prior authorization.  All services must be prior authorized, and a written plan of care must be established before services are rendered. For medical review purposes, all hospice services will be authenticated in accordance with OAC 317:30-3-30.

(e) Service election.

(1) The member or member's legal guardian or authorized representative must sign an election statement, choosing hospice care instead of routine medical care with the objective to treat and cure the member's terminal illness, and by doing so waives his or her right to other Medicaid benefits, except for care not related to the terminal illness and care provided by the attending physician.

(2) Once the member, legal guardian, or member's authorized representative has elected hospice care, the hospice medical team assumes responsibility for the member's medical care for the terminal illness.

(f) Service revocation.

(1) Hospice care services may be revoked by the member, legal guardian, or authorized representative at any time.

(2) Upon revoking the election of Medicaid coverage of hospice care for a particular election period, the member resumes Medicaid coverage of the benefits waived when hospice care was elected.

(3) The member may at any time elect to receive hospice coverage for any other hospice election periods for which he or she is eligible.

(g) Service frequency.  Hospice care services:

(1) Are available for an initial two (2) ninety-day (90-day) certification periods. After the two (2) initial ninety-day (90-day) periods, a member is allowed an unlimited number of sixty-day (60-day) certification periods during the remainder of the member's lifetime. Each certification period requires a new prior authorization.

(2) Require a hospice physician or nurse practitioner to have a face-to-face encounter with the member to determine if the member's terminal illness necessitates continuing hospice care services. The encounter should take place prior to the one hundred eightieth (180th) day recertification and each subsequent recertification thereafter; and attest that such visit took place.

(h) Documentation.  Initial documentation requirements for requesting services, documentation requirements for continuation of services, and the full hospice guidelines can be found at OHCA's website,

(i) Reimbursement.

(1) SoonerCare shall provide hospice care reimbursement:

(A) For each day that an individual is under the care of a hospice, the hospice will be reimbursed an amount applicable to the level, type and intensity of the services furnished to the individual for that day in accordance with the Oklahoma Medicaid State Plan.

(B) For independent physician direct services in accordance with the Oklahoma Medicaid State Plan.

(2) Through the Oklahoma Medicaid State Plan, the OHCA established payment amounts for the following categories:

(A) Routine hospice care.  Member is at home and not receiving hospice continuous care.

(B) Continuous home care.  Member is not in an inpatient facility and receives hospice on a continuous basis at home; primarily consisting of nursing care to achieve palliation and management of acute medical symptoms during a brief period of crisis only as necessary to maintain the terminally ill patient at home. If less skilled care is needed on a continuous basis to enable the person to remain at home, this is covered as routine hospice care.

(C) Inpatient respite care.  Member receives care in an approved inpatient facility on a short-term basis for respite.

(D) General inpatient care.  Member receives general inpatient care in an inpatient facility for pain control or acute or chronic symptom management that cannot be managed at home.

(E) Nursing facility (NF)/intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ICF/IID) care.  Member receives hospice care in a NF or ICF/IID. Hospice nursing facility or ICF/IID room and board per diem rates are reimbursed to the in-home hospice provider at a rate equal to 95% of the skilled nursing facility rate. The hospice provider is responsible for passing the room and board payment through to the NF or ICF/IID. If Medicare is the primary payer of hospice benefits, OHCA will only reimburse the hospice provider for coinsurance and deductible amounts per the Oklahoma Medicaid State Plan and will continue to pay the room and board to the nursing facility.

(F) Service intensity add-on. Member receives care by a registered nurse (RN) or social worker when provided in the last seven (7) days of his/her life.

(G) Other general reimbursement items.

(i) Date of discharge. For the day of discharge from an inpatient unit, the appropriate home care rate is to be paid unless the patient dies as an inpatient. When the patient is discharged as deceased, the inpatient rate, either general or respite, is to be paid for the discharge date.

(ii) Inpatient day cap. Payments to a hospice for inpatient care must be limited according to the number of days of inpatient care furnished to Medicaid patients. During the twelve-month (12-month) period beginning October 1 of each year and ending September 30, the aggregate number of inpatient days (both for general inpatient care and inpatient respite care) may not exceed twenty percent (20%) of the aggregate total number of days of hospice care provided to all Medicaid recipients during that same period. This limitation is applied once each year, at the end of the hospices' cap period.

(iii) Obligation of continuing care. After the member's Medicare hospice benefit expires, the patient's Medicaid hospice benefits do not expire. The hospice must continue to provide the recipient's care until the patient expires or until the member revokes the election of hospice care.

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