In Case You Missed It – Ambassadors Advocate on Capitol Hill – Hospice Action Network

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT – On September 18, My Hospice Ambassadors took to Capitol Hill to advocate for hospice and palliative care. The Ambassadors Fall Fly-In was strategically arranged, so that they could reemphasize the thousands of messages advocates sent their Members of Congress previously during Virtual Hill Week.

Ambassadors participated in 56 meetings, with over 20 Members of Congress urging their lawmakers to support the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA, H.R.647/S.2080) and the Rural Access to Hospice Act (H.R.2954/S.1190), while emphasizing the need for regulatory reforms that promote increased education, transparency, and smart oversight.

Ambassadors were selected by NHPCO to elevate and enhance awareness of hospice and palliative care issues and legislation and mobilize grassroots efforts in their state.

For more information about the Ambassadors Fall Fly-In, see the press release by NHPCO below:

For Immediate Release:
September 18, 2019

Hospice Leaders Urge Federal Lawmakers to Support Reforms to Improve Access and Quality

NHPCO Member Providers Convene on Capitol Hill to Advocate for the Rural Access to Hospice Act and Promote Hospice Program Integrity

In Case You Missed It – Ambassadors Advocate on Capitol Hill – Hospice Action Network

Washington, DC – Hospice providers from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) are on Capitol Hill this week to advocate for reforms that would increase access to hospice and palliative care in America’s rural towns and improve hospice care quality.

“All Americans should be given access to quality hospice care, no matter their zip code,” said Sandy Kuhlman, Executive Director of Hospice Services of Northwest Kansas and one of NHPCO’s visiting My Hospice Ambassadors.  “For this reason, we are bringing our message to Washington and asking our representatives to improve and reform hospice and palliative care policies that will increase access, refine oversight, advance education and improve transparency for providers and consumers alike.”

Hospice advocates are urging lawmakers to support the Rural Access to Hospice Act of 2019 (H.R. 2594), bipartisan legislation introduced by Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN) that will allow Rural Health Centers (RHCs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) to receive payment for serving as the hospice attending physician. If passed, the legislation would fix a technical glitch that currently prevents terminally ill beneficiaries in underserved and rural communities from utilizing the physician of their choice when entering hospice care.

NHPCO members will also talk to lawmakers about the organization’s Program Integrity Initiative, which overviews provider supported reforms and opportunities for proactive collaboration with Congress and federal regulators to increase oversight, education, and transparency.

As the leading nonprofit membership organization representing hospice and palliative care programs and professionals in the United States, NHPCO is committed to encouraging an environment that pays for value rather than volume, working to ensure providers deliver person-centered interdisciplinary care that builds on the field’s four decades of service. To that end, NHPCO’s Program Integrity Initiative offers expert recommendations to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) and Congress for provider-supported reforms to help stop fraud and abuse before it occurs and increases hospice data transparency.

In Case You Missed It – Ambassadors Advocate on Capitol Hill – Hospice Action Network

Hospice providers from Florida, Indiana, Kansas, California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Idaho and Tennessee plan to meet with Senators Mike Braun (R-IN), Todd Young (R-IN), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Jacky Rosen (D-NV)  and Reps. Donna Shalala (D-FL), Kathy Castor (D-FL), Jackie Walorski (R-IN),  Roger Marshall (R-KA), Ami Bera (D-CA), Hal Rogers (R-KY), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Seth Moulton (D-MA),  Scott Perry (R-PA),  Lloyd Smucker (R-PA), David Kustoff (R-TN), Susie Lee (D-NV) and Steven Horsford (D-NV).  Attendees serve as My Hospice Ambassadors and were selected by NHPCO to engage with federal lawmakers to enhance awareness of hospice and palliative care public policy issues.

“We look forward to working with the Administration and Congress to simplify and streamline the hospice benefit and compliance process to ensure taxpayer resources are spent wisely,” noted Kuhlman. “More oversight of new and poor-performing hospice providers would protect the most vulnerable, while easing unnecessary governmental red tape on honest and law-abiding hospice providers so they can continue to provide high-quality, person-centered care.  Accountability leads to credibility. Our goal is to ensure patients and their families have the utmost confidence in their hospice program.”

To learn more about My Hospice.