Call to Action: Tell Congress Not to Cut Hospice Payments in the U.S.

Categories: Community Engagement and Policy.

The United States Congress is about to leave town for the Christmas holiday without preventing extreme cuts to Medicare. These cuts would hit hospice providers hard. NHPCO and its affiliate, the Hospice Action Network, has issued a call to action to have Americans contact their members of Congress to stop these cuts now.

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed an enormous strain on hospice and palliative care patients, families, and providers. In addition to the physical, mental, and emotional toll the pandemic has taken on hospice and palliative care practitioners, it has also imposed severe financial pressure on hospices, including but not limited to: higher expenses for labor, personal protective equipment, and other supplies; and lowered revenues due fewer referrals, and limitations on in-person fundraisers and limited patronage of thrift stores, both of which typically provide significant revenue to many nonprofit hospices in particular. Reductions in Medicare payments to providers will further exacerbate access challenges for those in need of high-quality serious illness care

As Congress debates passing a Continuing Resolution to fund the government into next year, Congress must extend the moratorium on the Medicare sequester and prevent a Statutory PAYGO sequester to ensure that no reductions in Medicare payments to providers occur early next year. Congress to date has aided health care providers in the form of Medicare sequester relief, and Congress has always acted to waive the Statutory PAYGO law on a bipartisan basis. They must act again now.

Visit the Hospice Action Network – Legislative Action Center to take action.

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