Senate Votes to Extend Hospice Payment Sequestration Suspension

The U.S. Senate has voted to extend the moratorium on Medicare payment sequestration for hospice and other health care organizations through the end of the year. The Senate bill must now go to the House, which is unlikely to pass the legislation before the current expiration date of March 31. The Senate approved the bill […]

COVID-19 Stimulus Passes with Support for Rural Hospices, but No Additional PRF

The American Rescue Plan of 2021 has cleared its last congressional hurdle before going to President Biden for signature. The $1.9 trillion stimulus package contains $8.5 billion in aid targeted at rural providers, including hospices. However, the bill did not increase the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) or extend the moratorium on payment sequestration.  The U.S […]

NAHC Analysis Shows Progress from Federal COVID Relief, but More Likely Needed

Programs established in the most recent COVID-19 relief legislation, passed in December, will go a long way to bolstering hospices that have taken operational and financial punches from the pandemic. A recent analysis from the National Association for Home Care & Hospice indicates that providers will likely need more support to ride out the continuing […]

Omnibus Federal Spending Bill Contains Major Hospice Provisions

After much debate, the U.S. Congress approved Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which will keep the government running and fund federal agencies into the new year. The bill, which the president is expected to sign, includes hospice-specific line items intended to improve rural access to services and retool regulatory enforcement, as well as provide COVID-19 […]

House Approves Bill to Update CMS Hospice Oversight

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Beneficiary Enrollment Notification and Eligibility Simplification Act of 2019 (BENES). While the main focus of that bill relates to Medicare eligibility and enrollment, it would also change the frequency of regulatory hospice surveys to every two years instead of every three years, among other provisions. The legislation […]

House Bill Would Extend Hospice Payment Sequestration Moratorium

Reps. Brad Schneider (D-IL) and David McKinley (R-WV) have introduced the Medicare Sequester COVID Moratorium Act in the U.S. House of Representatives.  The bill would extend the temporary suspension of Medicare sequestration payment reductions for hospices for the duration of the federally declared COVID-19 public health emergency. The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) […]

Compassionate Care Act Introduced in Senate to Expand Advance Care Planning

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) has introduced the Compassionate Care Act in the U.S. Senate. If enacted the bill would significantly expand federal resources to support advance care planning and end-of-life care decision making. The legislation would also finance public awareness campaigns about hospice and palliative care. The Compassionate Care Act would establish a nationwide public […]

Hospice Respite Care Relief Bill Introduced in the House

Reps. Troy Balderson (R-Ohio) and Donna Shalala (D-Fla.) introduced the COVID-19 Hospice Respite Care Relief Act for consideration by the U.S. House of Representatives. The U.S. Senate has been mulling similar legislation since early August.  If enacted the bill would allow hospice patients to receive respite care in their homes as opposed to an inpatient […]

House Approves 2021 HHS Funding with Home-based Care Provisions

The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to allocate $96 billion for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), with provisions that could offer support to hospice and home care providers as well as patients and family caregivers. The House bill, which also contains funding for the departments of Education and Labor, will […]

Senate Bill Would Boost Hospice Respite Care During COVID-19

U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) have introduced new legislation that would allow hospice patients to receive respite care in their homes during a national emergency, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The bill would also extend the allowable length of stay to 15 days, up from the current limit of […]