Medicare Extenders Update

Written by Sharon Pearce, VP Public Policy:

Congressional Republicans seem to have gotten their holiday wishes, as the House and Senate passed major tax reform legislation this week.  It’s been decades since Congress last made major changes to the tax code, and this has been a long-time legislative goal for President Trump and the Republican Congress.

Because tax reform consumed so much Congressional energy in the last month, Congress left several important items unfinished as it left town for the holidays. Before they adjourned, Congress passed a one-month extension to give itself more time to complete several legislative priorities, including the FY 2018 budget, re-authorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Plan, and a bill popularly known as “Medicare Extenders”.

NHPCO has been working to convince Congress to pass the Rural Access to Hospice Act as part of the Medicare Extenders package. This legislation would increase access to hospice care, especially in under-served communities by allowing clinicians at Rural Health Centers and Federally Qualified Health Centers to serve as the hospice attending physician.  All HAN Advocates are encouraged to reach out to their Members of Congress to urge them to contact committee staff to encourage them to include the Rural Access to Hospice Act in the Extenders package. Click Here to Take Action.

So that’s it for 2017.  We will need you rested and refreshed to start advocating right away in 2018!  With your help, 2018 could be a great year for hospice and palliative care policy.  Thank you for all you do to support the Hospice Action Network!