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REED’S “HOSPICE ACT” WOULD STRENGTHEN AND IMPROVE ACCESS TO QUALITY HOSPICE CARE

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Washington, DC, August 18, 2014 | comments

Tom Reed is working to make sure hospice care facilities are able to continue to offer accessible, quality care to patients and their families with the HOSPICE Act, also known as the Hospice Opportunities for Supporting Patients with Integrity and Care Evaluations Act. Reed has been working on the bill with Democratic colleague Rep. Mike Thompson of California and recently introduced the bill in Congress.

“For any family who has had a personal experience with the care that hospice provides, they know that it is truly irreplaceable,” 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 spectrum and from across the political aisle can come together to support and improve hospice care delivery in America.”   

Specifically, Reed’s 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 will mean 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.

“By putting these fair accountability and transparency measures in place, we’re trying to make sure patients have access to the highest quality care that best fits their needs,” Reed continued. “We need to make sure – especially in our rural area – that families have access to all levels of care, including hospice and palliative care. I always want to be working to make sure hospice providers have the support they need and their care remains a choice for patients and their families.” 

Reed gathered input from the local and national hospice community to craft the bill which is supported by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

A strong advocate of hospice and palliative care, Reed is not new to the hospice arena. Over the past year, Reed has been working on a number of hospice-related initiatives, including the HELP Act which Reed announced in Chautauqua County at Hospice Chautauqua County. Reed worked with Democratic colleagues to introduce that bill as well.

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