For Immediate Release
May 10, 2024

(Alexandria, VA) – This week marked a series of triumphs for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and its advocacy arm, the Hospice Action Network (HAN), in collaboration with the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC). Notably, the trade associations spearheaded discussions with the House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee, resulting in crucial advancements in telehealth flexibility for hospice care.

The passage of the “Preserving Telehealth, Hospital, and Ambulance Access Act” through committee signifies a pivotal moment for the future of hospice care. This legislation extends telehealth capabilities for hospice recertifications, acknowledging the vital role telehealth plays, particularly in rural and densely populated urban areas. NHPCO achieved significant wins with two face-to-face (F2F) provisions: a two-year extension permitting virtual F2F visits in almost all cases, and a mandate for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to collect F2F visit data. These provisions reflect a concerted effort to modernize hospice care, ensuring it remains adaptable to evolving healthcare landscapes.

HAN’s meticulous engagement with the Ways & Means Committee staff also successfully thwarted potential cuts, safeguarding the capacity of hospices to provide essential care to vulnerable populations.

“With an aging population and escalating demand for end-of-life care, particularly in underserved regions, protecting hospice funding is imperative to guarantee compassionate and dignified care for all individuals in their final days,” said NHPCO COO and Interim CEO, Ben Marcantonio.

In an ongoing commitment to uphold program integrity, Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Beth Van Duyne (R-TX) spearheaded a bipartisan letter to CMS, joined by 38 lawmakers including a majority of the Ways and Means Committee, seeking accountability on recent reforms aimed at combatting hospice fraud and abuse. The letter follows multiple congressional inquiries led by Blumenauer and Van Duyne in 2023 urging CMS to address program integrity within the hospice benefit.

“CMS must take decisive action against bad actors tarnishing the reputation of hospice care,” asserted NHPCO VP of Policy and Government Relations, Logan Hoover. “This concerted effort, driven by our Congressional allies, builds upon nearly two years of grassroots, policy, and regulatory initiatives aimed at combating fraudulent practices within hospice care.”

NHPCO, alongside VITAS’ Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Joseph Shega, convened on Capitol Hill Thursday morning to share insights from the NORC “Value of Hospice Study” with the GOP Doctors’ Caucus, a group comprised of 19 Republican House members who are also trained as doctors, dentists, or pharmacists. Presenting key findings from the study underscored the critical need to preserve and expand funding for hospice services.

NHPCO and HAN remain steadfast in their commitment to collaborating with lawmakers to enact policies that ensure equitable access to high-quality end-of-life care for all Americans.


About NHPCO:

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) is the nation’s largest and oldest membership association for providers who care for people affected by serious and life-limiting illness. Our members deliver and expand access to high-quality, person-centered interdisciplinary care to millions of Americans. NHPCO provides education and resources to support that mission. Together with our advocacy partner, the Hospice Action Network (HAN), we serve as the leading voice advancing public policy to improve serious-illness and end-of-life care, while our CaringInfo program provides free resources to educate and empower patients and caregivers

About HAN:

The Hospice Action Network is the advocacy affiliate of NHPCO. HAN works with provider members, state organizations, national healthcare organizations and other relevant stakeholders to advance the NHPCO legislative and regulatory agenda. HAN advocates urge Congress and the Administration to support policies that promote equitable access to high-quality hospice and palliative care for patients and families.

Press Contact:
Madison Summers
NHPCO Public Affairs