Photo: Edo Banach addressed the benefits of hospice care for Americans facing serious and life-limiting illness, reinforced the value of the Medicare Hospice Benefit.
The U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee held a hearing today on caring for aging Americans. National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization President and CEO Edo Banach provided testimony on hospice care.
Included in Banach’s written testimony:
Hospice is not, and should not be, a partisan issue. We all get sick at some point in our lives, and eventually we will all die. For many people, hospice provides the right level of care at the right time for the patient and family at the end of life… We have a moral and fiscal imperative to do better than we are currently doing for our seniors who are seriously ill, sometimes suffering from multiple chronic conditions and who deserve a choice when it comes to their care.
Banach called for increased access to patient-center care, noting that our nation’s health care system tends to be a reactive one, “that requires you to get broken before you can get fixed. That is an irrational way to honor aging Americans.”
“Effectively integrating this compassionate and person-centered care that hospices provide every day directly into the delivery of care for the elderly would be an important step forward in breaking down barriers which regretfully are a part of over-medicalized care for the seriously ill,” Banach shared in his testimony.
Banach thanked Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA), Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX), and members of the Committee for the opportunity to testify at this important hearing. He also extended appreciation to Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY), a hospice volunteer, and Representative Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) for their leadership on hospice issues, as well as Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Jacki Walorski (R-IN) for their advocacy to help support greater access to hospice in both rural and underserved communities.
Download Edo Banach’s written testimony (PDF).