REED’S HOSPICE ACT SIGNED INTO LAW BY THE PRESIDENT
Yesterday President Obama signed into law the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act), which includes Tom Reed’s bipartisan Hospice Opportunities for Supporting Patients with Integrity and Care Evaluations Act (HOSPICE). Provisions under Reed’s bill will strengthen access to quality hospice care and give hospice providers the tools they need to do their jobs more effectively.
“This is great news for any family who has had a personal experience with the care that hospice provides,” Tom Reed said. “We depend on hospice providers for more than helping our loved ones, we also depend on them to bring peace of mind and comfort to our families. Strengthening hospice care is something people from across the political aisle can come together to support and improve hospice care delivery in America. This law will put fair accountability and transparency measures in place – so that families have access to the hospice care of their choice”
“Congressman Reed is an amazing and tireless champion for hospice, said Mary Ann Starbuck, Executive Director of CareFirst of Corning. “In this time of congressional disparity, it is inspiring to see the Congressman willingly lead a bi-partisan effort for needed change. His continued effort to promote quality hospice care as evidenced by his leadership on the hospice components of the IMPACT Act is so important within his district and throughout the nation. All hospice is once again grateful to Congressman Reed for his unwavering support.”
“We are thrilled to have worked with Representative Reed and a bipartisan group in Congress to enact the provisions of the HOSPICE Act. This is common-sense legislation that preserves the Medicare hospice benefit for future generations and ensures good stewardship of the Medicare trust fund,” said J. Donald Schumacher, National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) president and CEO.
Reed’s HOSPICE Act passed the House back in September. Reed’s HOSPICE Act is twofold. First, the bill brings additional transparency and accountability measures to certified hospice facilities with a three-year recertification cycle as opposed to the current six to eight-year timeframe. The increase in hospice survey frequency means hospice centers are more attentive to the changing care patients need.
Second, the HOSPICE Act allows the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to conduct a review of hospice programs that reach a threshold of patients in hospice care for more than 180 days, ensuring that those in most need of hospice care are supported.
Reed recently visited Hospicare and Palliative Care Services of Tompkins County to meet with employees and hospice provides from the district to announce his HOSPICE Act. Reed has been working on a number of hospice-related initiatives, including the HOSPICE Act and HELP Hospice Act.