NAHC Commends CMS for its Guidance on Medicare Part D for Hospice Patients
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Barbara D. Woolley
Washington, DC (July 18, 2014) Andrea L. Devoti, chairman of the board of directors for the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), commended Marilyn Tavenner, administrator at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), for taking essential steps to reduce prior authorization requirements for processing of drugs under Part D for hospice patients.
The action will bring marked relief to hospice patients and their hospice providers who have been dealing with the previous policy under which all drugs processed through Part D for hospice patients were subject to prior authorization, Devoti said. Since implementation of the comprehensive prior authorization (PA) policy in May, hospice patients and their families have suffered significant and sometimes harmful delays in securing needed medications.
While drugs under the four categories of analgesics, antinauseants, laxatives, and anti-anxiety medications will continue being subject to prior authorization, the reduced number of medications subject to PA will significantly lessen the challenges and difficulties present under the full PA policy. In addition, other changes CMS has made will provide greater clarity to Part D plans, hospices, and their patients relative to process and expectations.
We are very happy that CMS has chosen the best possible course to ensure both accountability and high-quality hospice care, said NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris. NAHC and other stakeholders worked tirelessly to convince CMS that changes were needed, and we are encouraged by CMS’ response.
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is a nonprofit organization that represents the nations 33,000 home care and hospice organizations. NAHC also advocates for the more than two million nurses, therapists, aides and other caregivers employed by such organizations to provide in-home services to some 12 million Americans each year who are infirm, chronically ill, and disabled. Along with its advocacy, NAHC provides information to help its members provide the highest quality of care and is committed to excellence in every respect. To learn more about NAHC, visit www.nahc.org.