What to Expect in 2018

It’s the second week of 2018 and both the House and Senate are back in action!  2018 is going to be a very busy year, and one of the first orders of business on the legislative calendar is completion of the FY 2018 budget.  Lawmakers must finalize the FY 2018 budget by Jan 19th or enact another continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown.

Midterm elections are in November and all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 33 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate are up for re-election.  It may be difficult to pass any significant legislation with control of the house and senate hanging in the balance, but NHPCO will continue to make the voices of hospice organizations heard on Capitol Hill and ensure that our priorities are protected.

Congress is also currently in the process of negotiating a package of Medicare-related legislation known as “Medicare extenders.”  Specifically, NHPCO is pushing for the inclusion of the Rural Access to Hospice Act in 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.  YOU – YES YOU- can support the Rural Access to Hospice Act by contacting your member of Congress today!

Other important healthcare legislation NHPCO is actively supporting and working to bring to the forefront of the healthcare conversation this year include the Patient Choice and Quality Care Act (PCQCA), the Palliative Care and Hospice and Education and Training Act (PCHETA), and the Medicare Patient Access to Hospice Act.

So that’s about it for now! Check back regularly as we’ll be providing a more detailed video and podcast on what the hospice community can expect from NHPCO in 2018.

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