Support Rural Access to Hospice!

As the end of 2017 approaches, Congress is rushing to complete a package of healthcare reforms known as Medicare Extenders. Some of these proposals could negatively impact hospice referrals, so HAN is urging Congress to include the Rural Access to Hospice Act, which improves access to hospice care in rural and underserved areas, in the Medicare Extenders year-end package.  We need YOU – yes YOU – to reach out to your Members of Congress and encourage them to support the inclusion of the Rural Access to Hospice Act.

The Rural Access to Hospice Act would increase access to hospice care, especially in underserved communities, by allowing clinicians at Rural Health Centers and Federally Qualified Health Centers to serve as the hospice attending physician.  RHCs and FQHCs were created in response to a shortage of physicians serving Medicare patients in underserved rural and urban communities and are paid a fixed, all-inclusive payment for all of the services they provide.  Unfortunately, these health centers are not paid for providing hospice care.  If the Rural Access to Hospice Act is passed, RHCs and FQHCs would receive payment for serving as the hospice attending physician and more people would have access to the quality, end-of-life care that they deserve.

HAN and representatives from numerous hospice organizations have already started contacting Members of Congress regarding Medicare Extenders, but your help could make even more of an impact.  View our fact sheet for more information about the Rural Access to Hospice Act and visit our Rural Action Center to tell Congress to include the Rural Access to Hospice Act in any Medicare Extenders package. Take action today!

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