WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 30, 2022)—The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 required the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to implement various hospice survey reforms. In the CY 2022 Home Health Prospective Payment System (HH PPS) final rule, CMS addressed these reforms, including development of a hospice special focus program (SFP). The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) was one of the stakeholders at the time that strongly urged CMS to initiate a technical expert panel (TEP) for the hospice SFP to ensure that the program was developed specifically with the hospice program in mind. At the time the final rule was issued, CMS also separately committed to creating a TEP to guide development of the hospice SFP. CMS has indicated that regulations governing the hospice SFP will be promulgated in conjunction with the fiscal year 2024 Hospice Payment Rule.

In July CMS issued a call for nominations for the hospice SFP TEP, and has, through its contractor Abt Associates, alerted individuals of their selection for the panel. NAHC is proud to announce that Ken Albert, RN, Esq., has been selected to serve on the panel.

In addition to serving as the chair of the NAHC board of directors and as former chair of the NAHC Hospice Advisory Council, Albert is the president and chief executive officer of Androscoggin Home Healthcare & Hospice and the Maine Center for Palliative Medicine. Albert is also a nurse and attorney and has extensive experience as a federal and state regulator, including service as the director for the Maine Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services, during which time he oversaw the CMS Special Focus Facility program for long- term care.

“CMS has chosen the very best that the hospice and homecare community has to offer in selecting Ken Albert to serve on the hospice special focus program technical expert panel,” NAHC President William A. Dombi said. “Ken’s credentials and combined experience as a state survey director and as a provider of home health, hospice and palliative care services make him an excellent choice, and we are grateful to Ken for once again volunteering his time and expertise for the good of the community.”