For Immediate Release:
August 27, 2019

Washington, DC –The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) today released the following statement in response to the Office of the Inspector General report, “Medicare Part D Is Still Paying Millions for Drugs Already Paid for Under the Part A Hospice Benefit.”

Hospice providers are called to care for people at their most vulnerable time. Providing end-of-life care is an enormous responsibility, but also one of our profession’s greatest privileges. It is important for patients and their loved ones to know hospice providers are committed to quality, compassionate, person-centered care.

Part of the Medicare hospice benefit includes coverage for drugs related to the terminal illness and related conditions.  Medicare Part D policy implemented by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is intended to prevent Part D from paying for drugs that should be covered by the hospice and to avoid incurring duplicate costs for medications of hospice patients where both the hospice and Part D pay. NHPCO agrees that hospice providers should be held responsible for drugs that are related to the terminal diagnosis and related conditions.  There may be instances where a drug is no longer effective but the patient may still choose to continue and pay privately for it.  There may be instances where the drug is not related to the terminal illness and related conditions and should be billed separately to Medicare Part D.

The OIG report represents an opportunity to revisit Medicare Part D policy and further clarify billing and payment practices that will promote transparency and ensure that hospice patients receive the medications they need every day.

We are reviewing the recently released OIG Report in detail and will be prepared to comment further after an in-depth examination of the audit.

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Media Contact:
Amanda Bow
Senior Director, Communications and Digital Strategy
Ph: 703-647-8525
abow@nhpco.org