(a) Definition. As used in this section the following definition applies.
Terminal illness has the same meaning as defined in § 418.3.
(b) General. Effective January 1, 2005, payment for hospice pre-election evaluation and counseling services as specified in § 418.304(d) may be made to a hospice on behalf of a Medicare beneficiary if the requirements of this section are met.
(1) The beneficiary. The beneficiary:
(i) Has been diagnosed as having a terminal illness as defined in § 418.3.
(ii) Has not made a hospice election.
(iii) Has not previously received hospice pre-election evaluation and consultation services specified under this section.
(2) Services provided. The hospice pre-election services include an evaluation of an individual's need for pain and symptom management and counseling regarding hospice and other care options. In addition, the services may include advising the individual regarding advanced care planning.
(3) Provision of pre-election hospice services.
(i) The services must be furnished by a physician.
(ii) The physician furnishing these services must be an employee or medical director of the hospice billing for this service.
(iii) The services cannot be furnished by hospice personnel other than employed physicians, such as but not limited to nurse practitioners, nurses, or social workers, physicians under contractual arrangements with the hospice or by the beneficiary's physician, if that physician is not an employee of the hospice.
(iv) If the beneficiary's attending physician is also the medical director or a physician employee of the hospice, the attending physician may not provide nor may the hospice bill for this service because that physician already possesses the expertise necessary to furnish end-of-life evaluation and management, and counseling services.
(i) If the individual's physician initiates the request for services of the hospice medical director or physician, appropriate documentation is required.
(ii) The request or referral must be in writing, and the hospice medical director or physician employee is expected to provide a written note on the patient's medical record.
(iii) The hospice agency employing the physician providing these services is required to maintain a written record of the services furnished.
(iv) If the services are initiated by the beneficiary, the hospice agency is required to maintain a record of the services and documentation that communication between the hospice medical director or physician and the beneficiary's physician occurs, with the beneficiary's permission, to the extent necessary to ensure continuity of care.
[69 FR 66425, Nov. 15, 2004]