A quirk in current law prevents primary care providers at Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) from serving as the hospice attending physician. If an RHC or FQHC patient elects hospice, she has to give up her primary care provider. This is a choice no one should have to make at the end of life.
The Rural Access to Hospice Act would correct this problem by allowing physicians and nurse practitioners at FQHCs and RHCs to bill for hospice attending physician services.
While the bill has only just been introduced in the Senate, we hope to build support throughout the Spring, and are also working on a House companion bill.
Live in a rural state? Email your Senator and ask them to cosponsor this bipartisan, common sense legislation. Then, share the graphic below to help raise awareness of this bill:
(Right-click on the graphic above and save to your device.)
Sharon Scribner Pearce is the vice president for health policy at the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the affiliated Hospice Action Network.