CMS announced on Friday, April 26, that the deadline for PECOS enrollment for attending and certifying physicians in hospice has been extended. 

Initially, the 2024 Hospice Final Rule stipulated that by May 1, 2024, all attending and certifying physicians, including MDs, DOs, and DPMs, needed to be registered in PECOS or be opted out. However, last Friday’s announcement revealed that the deadline has been extended to June 3. As a result, hospices now have until June 3 to comply with the new requirement for their claims. 

For hospices that haven’t fully prepared for this change, it’s crucial to use this extra month to put in place a solid system. You need a process within your organization to ensure all your physicians are registered in PECOS or have opted out, as well as a procedure to immediately check any physician a patient names as their attending physician.  

Physicians who would be opted out include Veterans Administration (VA) physicians who bill the VA instead of Medicare for their services. For VA physicians to refer patients to Medicare agencies or serve as attending physicians in hospice care, they need to complete the opt-out forms. This process adds them to the PECOS system, allowing them to be recognized as valid providers without billing Medicare. 

Hospices need to be aware that starting on June 3, claims will be denied if the listed attending physicians and certifying physicians are not registered in the PECOS system. This makes it critical for hospices to ensure that these physicians are properly enrolled to avoid disruptions in their claims processing. 

As you check the status of physicians in the PECOS system, be very mindful of the exact spelling of their names and make sure their NPI numbers are found in the PECOS system. These details must be identical to the information on your hospice claim to avoid any issues with claims processing. 

Should you require assistance. Healthcare Provider Solutions is here to help, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. 

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