The Medicare Care Choices Model (MCCM) is a benefit for hospice-eligible Medicare beneficiaries with a diagnosis of cancer, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or HIV/AIDS. MCCM allows eligible beneficiaries to receive supportive services from participating hospices while continuing to receive treatment for their terminal condition, if desired, through fee-for-service Medicare. Abt Global is evaluating the program for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The first annual report of the evaluation of finds that:
- The model is achieving its objective of increasing access to supportive services provided by hospices.
- Hospices successfully implemented MCCM, but enrollment was lower than expected.
- Hospice staff, referring providers, and MCCM enrollees generally expressed high levels of satisfaction with MCCM.
- More than four out of five MCCM enrollees – 83% - elected the Medicare hospice benefit after an average of two months on MCCM.
- Due to low enrollment, it is too early to measure any impacts MCCM has on outcomes at the end of life.
Additional reports from Abt, as well as partners from RAND, Oregon Health & Science University, Brown University, GDIT and L&M Policy Research, will follow.