Rural Access to Hospice Act Reintroduced in the House and Senate

Posted on Monday, May 13, 2019 2:03 AM

U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and U.S. Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN)  have introduced the Rural Access to Hospice Act of 2019, a bipartisan/bicameral legislation to improve seniors’ access to hospice care in rural America.

Currently, patients select a physician or nurse practitioner to serve as their attending physician when they elect hospice care.  Rural health clinics (RHCs) and federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) are not allowed to bill Medicare Part B for hospice attending physician services, causing some patients from receiving care from their primary care practitioner.

This new Act would allow RHCs and FQHCs to bill Medicare Part B for hospice attending physicians services when they center-based physicians care for their patients. 

“In the final stages of life, it’s more important than ever to be able to receive care from a trusted physician in your own community,” Senator Capito said. “The Rural Access to Hospice Act will make sure this critical service is available to [those] who call rural America home, providing them care and comfort at a critical time. As someone who knows what it is like to have a family member receive hospice care, I know how important this kind of compassionate care is, and I am committed to ensuring hospice care is available to all Americans – regardless of where they live.”

Source: NAHC

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