An Advocacy Message from Edo Banach

Dear Advocates,

I invite your organization to participate in the 2017 Hospice Action Network Advocacy Intensive on July 17-18 in Washington, D.C. This event gives hospice programs nationwide an opportunity to stand as one community and speak with one voice on Capitol Hill – a voice for the patients and families we serve across the nation.

We face constant change and uncertainty in health care and beyond. It is crucial that we seize the opportunity to educate policy makers about hospice and palliative care. And who better to tell the stories of hospice care than the nurses, social workers, chaplains, volunteers, and the many others who provide care at the bedside every day?

The HAN Advocacy Intensive offers a comprehensive educational program for beginners and experienced advocates alike. Attendees will learn best practices to become effective hospice advocates, and how to build relationships with policy-makers over time. This is the best opportunity for the hospice community to learn the skills needed to influence the legislators and staff who are shaping the future of healthcare.

Your patients need a voice in Washington. You can be that voice.

Please join us for the 2017 Hospice Action Network Advocacy Intensive.


Edo Banach, JD
President & CEO
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization

We Asked, You Delivered!

HAN sent out an appeal last week asking Hospice Advocates, in part, to use our Action Alerts to send an email to your Members of Congress on 3 pieces of legislation:

  1. The Rural Access to Hospice Act
  2. The Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act
  3. The Medicare Patient Access to Hospice Act

Within 24 hours, you sent 515 total emails to Capitol Hill! That brings the total number of emails Hospice Advocates have sent to Congress up to 776 in 2017. Great job!

Click here to see if your Members of Congress have co-sponsored legislation. If so, send them a quick thank-you note. Give them a shout out on Twitter.

Are your Members of Congress missing from the list? Take action using the links above if you haven’t already. If you have, share them with a friend. Your coworkers. Your book club. Ask them to join you in taking action.

Thank YOU for taking action, and to every Member of Congress who has supported these three bills!

Advocacy Pro Tip!

Did you know that HAN has up-to-date resources available for you to share with your Member of Congress, their staff, or your colleagues?!

Advocacy Pro Tip: On HAN’s Supported Legislation page, you can find our letters of support and an overview for the Medicare Patient Access to Hospice Act, PCHETA, and the Rural Access to Hospice Act! Every time we support a piece of legislation, resources will find their way to the Supported Legislation page. Plus, these are great background documents if you want to take action on a bill but need a little help to know why it’s important!

Questions? Contact HAN at!

PCHETA Reintroduced in Congress

The 115th Congress is busy! Nomination hearings of all stripes, healthcare reform debates, espionage investigations, and legislation being introduced! Today, we’re excited about legislation.

You may remember that the Medicare Patient Access to Hospice Act (H.R. 1284) was reintroduced earlier this month. Last week, the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (S. 693/ H.R. 1676) was reintroduced in both the Senate and House! Senators Baldwin (D-WI) and Capito (R-WV) introduced the bill in the Senate, and Congressman Engel (D, NY-16) reintroduced the legislation in the House, with Representatives Reed (R, NY-23) and Carter (GA-1) joining as original cosponsors. NHPCO is proud to support this legislation.

PCHETA will ensure that an adequate, well-trained palliative care workforce is available for individuals with serious illness and at the end of life. Among other initiatives, this legislation will:

  • fund programs to provide clinical palliative medicine training in a variety of settings, including hospice;
  • establish a program to enable hospice and palliative physicians to train teams of interdisciplinary healthcare professionals in palliative and hospice care techniques; and
  • expand the types of professionals trained to provide hospice care, including nurses and clinical social workers.

Here’s the part where you come in. Ask your Senators and Representative to cosponsor this important biparitsan legislation. We have developed an email for you to send, but we highly encourage you to make personalized edits–have you seen the shortage of palliative care providers first hand? Do you have a story about the benefits palliative care provided a patient? These edits raise the importance of your message on Capitol Hill. All you have to do to get started is click the “Take Action” button below!

Medicare Patient Access to Hospice Act Introduced!

Earlier this month, Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins (R, KS-2) and Congressman Mike Thompson (D, CA-5) introduced the Medicare Patient Access to Hospice Act (H.R. 1284). In rural and other medically under-served communities, a physician assistant (PA) may be the only healthcare professional in the community. Current Medicare rules do not allow PAs to serve as the hospice attending physician or perform other functions that are otherwise consistent with their scope of practice. Patients who receive their primary care from a PA must give up that provider when they elect hospice care. This can cause significant stress for patients at an already difficult time. H.R. 1284 would correct this problem and allow physician assistants to serve as attending physicians to hospice patients.

NHPCO supports this bipartisan legislation, and we hope you take action! Send an email to your Member of Congress and ask to cosponsor this legislation by clicking the “Take Action” button below!  A template email is provided for you, but we encourage you to personalize it for added impact!