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 […]

Hospice, Palliative Care Education Bill Introduced in Senate

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) have introduced the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA) in the U.S. Senate. The legislation would provide resources to support clinician training to reduce staff shortages in the industry and help providers meet continuously rising demand for those services as the population ages.  […]

New Legislation to Make Palliative Care Eligible for National Health Service Corps

Bipartisan Congressional efforts to expand palliative care utilization and combat ongoing staffing shortages are proceeding apace with the introduction of the Provider Training in Palliative Care Act by Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). The bill would make palliative care medicine an eligible primary care service under the National Health Service Corps […]

Bill Would Streamline Medicare Advantage Prior Authorizations

As hospices ready themselves for a Medicare Advantage (MA) carve-in, U.S. Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-Wa.) and Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) plan to introduce a bill to reduce regulatory burdens associated with the prior authorization process, a legislative aide from DelBene’s office told Hospice News. Though the bill text is not yet complete, the co-sponsors are basing […]

Rural Access to Hospice Bill Expected to Pass

First proposed in 2017, the Rural Access to Hospice Act is expected to pass the 116th Congress due to widespread bipartisan support, according to hospice policy advocates. U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), reintroduced the legislation last week. If enacted it would remove a statutory barrier in current law, allowing patients […]

Bill Introduced to Expand Access to Hospice Care in Rural Areas

A new bill was introduced Thursday in the Senate to expand access to hospice care in rural areas. Introduced by U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), the bill is designed to remove a statutory barrier in current law and allow people to receive hospice care from their local trusted primary care […]

‘Right to Try’ Act Could Delay Palliative Care

The Right to Try Act, designed to give patients with life-threatening illnesses access to experimental therapies, could delay referrals of pediatric cancer patients to palliative care, according to a viewpoint appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association-Oncology. “When pediatric oncologists perceive that patients and families want to ‘do everything,’ even broaching the idea […]

Stark Law Updates to Impact Palliative Care Providers

The Trump administration is seeking extensive revisions to the Stark Law, a law designed to address conflicts of interest in physician referrals, U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma said in a speech to the Federation of American Hospitals. Currently referrals to hospice are exempt from the Stark Law, but the law […]

States Seek Hospice Exemption for Opioid Prescription

A year after imposing restrictions on opioid prescriptions, some states now seek to loosen the reins. Florida is the most recent state to consider exempting hospices from restrictions designed to curb the nation’s opioid epidemic. A state Senate committee on Feb. 19 approved a bill that would exempt health care providers from checking the state’s […]

Hospice Training Bill Moves Forward in House

Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-NY) and bipartisan co-sponsors have reintroduced the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (H.R. 647) in the House of Representatives. This bill would provide funds to increase the number of permanent faculty in academic institutions that provide education and training for hospice and palliative care providers, with the ultimate […]