Photo: The New Jersey delegation at the U.S. Capitol.
More than 300 hospice and palliative care advocates are on Capitol Hill today as part of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s Leadership and Advocacy Conference held this week at the Marriott Wardman Park. Advocates met with congressional staff to reinforce the value of the Medicare Hospice Benefit to the over 1.4 million beneficiaries it serves annually.
In addition to promoting NHPCO’s legislative priorities for 2019, advocates provided information about legislation supported by NHPCO including:
- Rural Access to Hospice Act (S.1190)
- Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA) (H.R. 647)
In the morning, advocates heard from administration and congressional officials before heading to Capitol Hill. Lance Robertson, Assistant Secretary for Aging at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, spoke during the conference closing plenary. At the close of the program, Senator Ben Cardin (MD) reinforced the importance of grassroots advocacy and sent well wishes to advocates as they departed for Capitol Hill.
NHPCO’s advocacy campaign – My Hospice – was a common theme throughout the entire conference and especially during the meetings on Capitol Hill. My Hospice, entering its second year, was designed to reinforce the value of the Medicare hospice benefit among policy and healthcare decision makers to foster a policy environment that will support patient access to high quality, comprehensive hospice and palliative care. As Medicare’s first coordinated care model, hospice is one of the few sectors that demonstrates how healthcare can – and should – work at its best for its patients, offering a successful model for expanding access to person-centered, integrated care to all patients with serious, advanced and life-limiting illness, and their caregivers.
So far, the campaign has reached hundreds of thousands of people through traditional, digital, and social media. Hospice and palliative care providers have embraced the campaign and use it to highlight how critically important hospice and palliative care are to Americans across the country.
To learn more about the My Hospice campaign, please visit MyHospiceCampaign.org.