The policy, which affects hospice patients on Medicare, was designed to prevent duplicate payments on medications, but unintended consequences mean that many patients are not getting the medicine they need.
The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and the Hospice Action Network have been leading advocacy efforts to communicate to politicians and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (who conceived the policy) how hospice patients and their families have been negatively affected.
J. Donald Schumacher, NHPCO president and CEO, commented: “Coordinated advocacy efforts have brought some positive results but not a halt to the implementation of this policy. Yet, even one patient at the end of life who suffers needlessly from this policy is one too many. It’s heartbreaking that CMS has failed to recognise the urgency of protecting these vulnerable patients.”
Read more about the problem and the partial success of advocacy efforts on the USA edition of ehospice.