In response to a request from the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization has submitted a series of recommendations that would provide regulatory relief to hospice providers.
The recommendations were developed by the NHPCO regulatory committee, and echo concerns raised in NHPCO’s comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regarding the FY 2018 Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update and Hospice Quality Reporting Requirements; Proposed Rule. NHPCO’s letter of June 26, 2017 to CMS (PDF) is available online.
In summary, NHPCO highlighted areas where Congress and CMS could reduce regulatory burden around payment policy, staffing requirements, audits, and data collection and reporting. NHPCO also called for Congress to enact legislation that would loosen requirements around Face-to-Face, and allow both Rural Health Clinicians and Physician Assistants to serve as the hospice attending physician.
NHPCO President and CEO Edo Banach wrote in the letter to Congress, “In recent years, hospices have been faced with substantially increased regulatory burdens, based on new regulations and subregulatory guidance, changes required by hospice payment reform, additional quality reporting obligations, and increased audit activity. While some of these changes are positive, hospices report that they are facing many regulatory burdens that take valuable staff time away from patients and are not increasing the quality of care provided.”
NHPCO leadership, staff, and members are eager to work with Congress on these issues, as well as other policy changes that will ensure that all Medicare beneficiaries can access the high-quality, compassionate end-of-life care offered by hospice providers across the nation.
To speak with a member of NHPCO’s health policy staff, contact:
Vice President, Communications