Congress Members Call for Medicare Palliative Benefit

Posted on Monday, December 28, 2020

Representatives Neal Dunn, M.D (R-Fla), Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.), Jeff VanDrew (D-N.J.), and Sen.-Elect Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) have written to CMS Administrator Seema Verma to advocate for a palliative care benefit demonstration.

Hospices provide 50% of community-based palliative care but the lack of a dedicated payment model makes growth challenging.

“There is a significant evidence base to support the need for a [Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation]-supported community-based palliative care effort that would lead to improved quality and cost outcomes for beneficiaries experiencing serious illness,” the Congress members wrote to Verma. “A community-based palliative care demonstration would enable access to a specially trained interdisciplinary clinical team providing relief from symptom distress while the patient continues to pursue curative treatment.”

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