Navigation Links
President Obama & Congress Act to Ensure Access to Compassionate End-of-Life Care for Patients & Families
Date:2/18/2009

One-Year Moratorium on Cuts in Medicare Hospice Funding Signed Into Law

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Feb. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The nation's hospice community claimed a significant victory this week after President Barack Obama signed a bill (H.R. 1 - The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) into law that includes a one-year moratorium on cuts in Medicare funding for the more than 4,700 hospice programs nationwide. The action ensures that access to quality and compassionate end-of-life care will be maintained for the more than 1.4 million patients and their family caregivers who seek hospice each year.

Over the past year, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, the Alliance for Care at the End of Life, and hospice advocates from across the country have been working to overturn a 2008 regulation issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which eliminates a key component of the Medicare hospice reimbursement formula known as the budget neutrality adjustment factor (BNAF).

The phased funding cut would have taken $135 million away from quality and compassionate end-of-life care in fiscal year 2009, and has already jeopardized the survival of many hospice programs, particularly smaller, more rural ones. Approximately 3,000 hospice provider jobs were threatened to be cut this year, with deeper job losses expected in fiscal year 2010 as the funding cut enters its second year.

The effort to halt the hospice rate cuts has been underway since the Bush Administration announced its intention to eliminate the BNAF in its FY09 budget

NHPCO and its partners within the hospice community have been engaged in an aggressive grassroots program, mobilizing patients and their families, professionals, physicians, nurses, home health aides, spiritual and bereavement counselors, and volunteers, that has resulted in tens of thousands of calls, emails and letters being sent to elected officials in the House and Senate. As a result, a bipartisan group of lawmakers worked together to have the hospice provision included in the economic stimulus package approved by Congress, and signed into law by President Obama.

"From the start, our efforts have been about ensuring access to high-quality and compassionate end-of-life care for Americans coping with life-limiting illness. We thank our supporters at the grassroots level and in Congress for securing a one-year moratorium on cuts in hospice funding. It's important that we continue to build upon the momentum that we have now to ensure that patient access is protected in future years by permanently overturning these devastating rate cuts," said J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of NHPCO.

Despite strong, bipartisan opposition in Congress, CMS began implementation of the final rule on October 1, 2008. "If allowed to move forward in FY10, this misguided rule will slash hospice payments by approximately $2.18 billion in the first five years, despite the fact that hospice has been found to be a cost saver for the Medicare program," Schumacher noted.

A 2007 independent Duke University study found that hospice reduced Medicare costs by an average of $2,300 per hospice patient, amounting to a total of more than $2 billion in savings in a single year.

With the one-year moratorium in place, NHPCO, the Alliance for Care at the End of Life, and hospice advocates will now turn their attention to working with the new administration and Congress on permanently overturning the CMS rule to eliminate the BNAF.

NHPCO leadership are meeting with CMS on February 19 to discuss the subsequent process necessary to address the one-year moratorium.

    Contact:
    Sara Perkins
    Ph: 703-837-3135
    sperkins@nhpco.org
    or
    Jon Radulovic
    703-837-3139
    Jradulovic@nhpco.org

NHPCO is the oldest and largest nonprofit membership organization representing hospice and palliative care programs and professionals in the United States. NHPCO's mission is to lead and mobilize social change for improved care at the end of life.

www.nhpco.org

The Alliance for Care at the End of Life is a 501(c) (4) organization created by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) to provide a more aggressive and comprehensive advocacy voice to serve the entire field and, ultimately, one of America's most vulnerable populations - those nearing the end of life.

www.afceol.org


'/>"/>
SOURCE National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. S.C. BlueCross Creates Corporate Planning Unit, Promotes Davis to Vice President
2. MassMutual Promotes Debra Palermino to Senior Vice President of Human Resources
3. Sodexho, Inc. Announces Patrick E. Connolly as Market President & COO
4. Pioneer Surgical Technology Hires Vice President of New Business Development
5. PRA International Adds Dr. Susan Stansfield as Executive Vice President
6. AOA President Calls on Congress to Reauthorize SCHIP and Take Action to Ensure Health Care Coverage for All Americans
7. Presidential Candidates Address Health, Financial Security at AARPs Life@50+
8. STERIS Corporation Board of Directors Names Walter M. Rosebrough Jr. President and Chief Executive Officer
9. Resonant Medical Appoints New Vice President of Global Sales
10. Karen Vigil Named Senior Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, Blue Shield of Californias Individual, Small Group, and Government Business Unit
11. John B. Buse, MD, PhD of Chapel Hill, NC, Elected American Diabetes Association President, Medicine & Science
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/10/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 , ... Ongoing news ... Aging Life Care Association™ (ALCA) to conduct a survey that takes a closer look ... released today illustrates the prevalence and causes of TBI among the aging population, and ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... February 10, 2016 , ... AxoGen, Inc. (NASDAQ: AXGN), a ... for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2015 on Monday, February ... and webcast for the investment community following the release at 4:30 PM ET. Investors ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... ... For additional information contact Phyllis Strupp 480-488-5858 , Brain improves with age, ... Guide to Brain Training" by award-winning author Phyllis Strupp explains how brain ... 16, 2016. A free review copy is available to the media at NetGalley ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ... 2016 , ... IDEX Health & Science, LLC announces the ... columns combine the strength of traditional stainless steel with the chemical inertness of ... operating at ultra-high pressures of 20,000 psi. The higher operating pressures allow faster ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 10, 2016 , ... The recreational ... cannabis enthusiasts in the state still face a lot of restrictions as to where ... is intended for private, personal use” and that cannabis “may not be consumed openly ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/10/2016)... Calif. , Feb. 10, 2016  Rich Pharmaceuticals, ... today announced a 1-for-100 reverse split of its issued ... opening of trading on Thursday, February 11, 2016. The ... under new CUSIP number 76303T308 and temporary ticker symbol ... commence trading under the ticker symbol (RCHA).  ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... ALS Association, in partnership with ALS Finding a Cure, is ... to track TDP43 aggregation. The successful team(s) with the most ... --> --> ALS ... the brain and the spinal cord. Eventually, people with ALS ... often leads to total paralysis and death within two to ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... , Feb. 10, 2016  Visage Imaging Inc. ... Ltd. (ASX: PME), has announced that the American College ... (UF) have selected the Visage 7 Enterprise Imaging ... the Emergent/Critical Care Imaging SIMulation (SIM). SIM is ... Imaging Program (WIDI), a multi-faceted and fully-integrated online ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: