Senators Introduce Bill on Hospice Quality, Transparency

U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) have introduced a new bill, the Hospice Care Improvement Act, in response to the July reports on hospice quality from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). If enacted, the legislation would implement new rules for oversight […]

Senator Rosen: Remove Barriers to Hospice, Palliative Care

Stakeholders in the hospice space must work with policymakers to remove barriers that complicate patients’ access to care, according to Sen. Jackie Rosen (D-Nev.) — including the requirement for a six-month terminal prognosis. Rosen made the comments at the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization Interdisciplinary Conference in Orlando, Fla. “I know all too well […]

Bill Would Allow Hospice Recertification Via Telehealth

A bipartisan group of congressional legislators have introduced corresponding bills in the House and the Senate that would allow hospice physicians to re-certify patients via telehealth systems, among other provisions. Current Medicare Conditions of Participation require a hospice physician to meet with a patient face-to-face as part of the recertification process that initiates after the […]

House Approves Hospice Education Act

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA), according to the office of Rep. Eliot Engels (D-N.Y.). The bill, which Engels introduced in January, had 294 bipartisan cosponsors. If enacted, PCHETA would establish fellowship programs within new palliative care and hospice education centers to provide short-term, […]

Hospice Legislation Comes Closer to House Vote

The number of cosponsors for the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act has reached the 290 the bill needs to come to a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives. A second bill, the Rural Access to Hospice Act, will likely be folded into a larger yet-to-be-determined piece of legislation. If enacted, PCHETA […]

Wisconsin Legislature Mulls Palliative Care Bill

A bi-partisan bill before the Wisconsin Legislature would set up a Palliative Care Council within the state’s Department of Health Services, as well as establish a public education program on palliative care. If the bill is enacted, Wisconsin will join a growing list of states in establishing laws to promote palliative care as legislators and […]

New Jersey Enacts Law to Expand Palliative Care

New Jersey has joined a growing list of states that are establishing laws to advance palliative care. Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has signed a bill to create a state advisory council on palliative care and quality of life. The new law also includes provisions for a hospice and palliative care access program to expand public […]

New Senate Caucus to Focus on Palliative Care

A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators has launched a new caucus to focus on legislation and policy that impacts palliative care. The legislators said they expect the Comprehensive Care Caucus to raise awareness of palliative care, promote utilization, improve care coordination, support caregivers and expand access to palliative care services. Founding members of the Comprehensive […]

Michigan Passes Hospice Opioid Law

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, D, has signed into law a bill that exempts hospices from opioid prescribing restrictions that the state enacted last year to combat the national addiction and overdose epidemic.  Prior to this legislation, the law mandated that prescribers have a “bona fide” prescriber-patient relationship, and that the prescriber obtain reports from the […]

House Ways & Means Starts Rural Health Task Force

The influential Ways and Means Committee within the U.S. House of Representatives has convened a Rural and Underserved Communities Health Task Force to consider health care delivery challenges in rural areas. The move comes as both chambers of Congress consider versions of legislation to expand hospice in rural locales.  The Rural Access to Hospice Act […]