Hospices Seek Congressional Action on Staffing Constraints

Years after it was first introduced, hospice leaders are calling on Congress to move forward legislation that would bolster their dwindling workforce. The most significant bill in recent years is the Palliative Care and Hospice Education Training Act (PCHETA), which has come before Congress time and again but has not yet been passed. The bill’s […]

Hospices, Lawmakers Target Medication Cost Reductions

Medication costs are among hospice providers’ biggest expenses, and some are asking policymakers to take action on prices. High prices on drugs, as well as shortages, are problems that permeate the entire health care system. While recent industry-wide data are scarce on drug costs for hospice patients, providers often identify these as their second-highest expense, […]

Solutions That Make Sense: Why Hospice Benefit Reform Needs to Incorporate Concurrent Care

Increasingly, both policymakers and providers are seeing potential opportunities to reform the Medicare Hospice Benefit, including the prospect of concurrent care. Driving these conversations is the need to lighten the nation’s heavy health care spend, which in 2021 reached $4.3 trillion, according to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Questions are also […]

Federal Legislation Would Create National Strategy on Grief

Rep. Joe Morelle (D-N.Y.) introduced legislation this morning to create a National Strategy on Grief and establish grants to fund trauma-informed care for the bereaved. If enacted the bill would allocate dollars for hospice and palliative care providers, other health care organizations, grief counselors, youth-focused nonprofits, and schools to foster greater support for the bereaved. […]

US Senate Takes Up Supporting Our Seniors Act

U.S. Sens. Jacky Rosen (D-N.V.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.) have introduced a bill that would establish a national committee to study long-term care in the United States. While private residences are the most frequently occurring location of care for hospice patients, long-term care facilities come in second, followed by assisted living facilities, according to the […]

Hospice, Palliative Care Groups Call for Telehealth Codes on Medicare Claims

A coalition of hospice and palliative care industry groups has urged lawmakers to make billing codes for telehealth available on Medicare hospice claim forms. The organizations called on Congress to require the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop and implement Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) codes or modifiers for telehealth […]

Congress Mulls Bills to Investigate Travel Nurse Agency Business Practices

Many hospices have relied heavily on travel nurse agencies to reinforce their clinical teams during the pandemic. Now, a pair of bills currently before Congress would require a federal study of those agencies’ impact on health care. The Travel Nursing Agency Transparency Study Act would instruct the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study the […]

Hospice Advocacy Groups Ask Congress for Action on Proposed 2023 Medicare Rates

More than a dozen hospice advocacy groups have called on congressional leadership to intervene in a proposed 2.7% bump in Medicare payments, which they say is insufficient in light of COVID-19 and staffing headwinds. The organizations signed a letter to party leaders in both chambers of Congress. Signatories included the National Hospice & Palliative Care […]

Hospices Need a ‘Huge Catapult’ to Replenish Workforce

If enacted, the recently reintroduced Palliative Care and Hospice Education Training Act (PCHETA) could make a dent in the recruitment barriers that hospices keep hitting. But clinical education will need a much larger boost to ensure a sustainable workforce, according to many providers.  The training issue is a serious impediment to hospice recruitment, as very […]

Hospices Have High Hopes for PCHETA, But Is It Enough?

Stakeholders in the hospice space are optimistic that Congress will pass the recently reintroduced Palliative Care and Hospice Education Training Act (PCHETA). While some see the bill as a beacon of hope, sustainable change will likely require more than a single piece of legislation. The legislation has percolated for the past five years without passing, […]