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National End-of-Life Organizations Release Consensus Statement on Hospice, the Medicare Hospice Benefit, and Key Issues for the Future
Date:1/8/2009

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Jan. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization along with several national leadership organizations issued a consensus statement regarding the principles of hospice care and protection of the Medicare Hospice Benefit. The organizations standing together in sharing this unified message about end-of-life care are the American Association of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, National Association for Home Care & Hospice, National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, National Hospice Work Group, and Visiting Nurses Association of America.

Since the inception of the Medicare Hospice Benefit in 1982, hospice has grown into a $10 billion industry that last year alone served more than 1.4 million dying Americans and their family caregivers. The Medicare Hospice Benefit is responsible for millions of people living as fully as possible up until the end of life and the hospice community is dedicated not only to preserving the benefit but enhancing it so it appropriately serves the unique and changing needs of dying Americans. Hospice and palliative care providers, through the support that comes from Medicare, are recognized as the leading providers of the interdisciplinary, holistic care considered to be the gold standard of end-of-life care.

MedPAC, the congressional advisory committee, has been looking at growth in hospice in recent years which has increased in number of providers and people served. Recommendations from MedPAC involving hospice reimbursement are expected to be released shortly. This consensus statement affirms key issues on which these leadership organizations agree.

Consensus Statement on Hospice Reform

There is broad agreement that the Medicare hospice benefit has been a resounding success. Since its addition to the Medicare system in 1982, tens of millions of
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SOURCE National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
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