NAHC/HAA Applauds House Legislation that Calls for Greater Frequency of Hospice Surveyance
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Barbara D. Woolley
WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 17, 2014) Today, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) and its affiliate Hospice Association of America (HAA) applauded leaders in the House of Representatives for passing legislation that calls for greater frequency of hospice surveyance. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) worked in concert to include the hospice survey provisions in the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014 that passed the House late September 16; Senate passage of the IMPACT Act is anticipated in the near future.
In addition to mandating that all hospices are surveyed, at a minimum, once every three years, the IMPACT Act would also correct a legislative drafting error that has kept CMS from implementing authority granted under the Affordable Care Act to conduct medical reviews of hospice providers with a high proportion of long-stay patients. The survey frequency and medical review provisions were first proposed in legislation introduced by U.S. Congressmen Tom Reed (R-NY) and Mike Thompson (D-CA), as the Hospice Opportunities for Supporting Patients with Integrity and Care Evaluations (HOSPICE) Act, H.R. 5393. The increased frequency of surveys is financed by a change in the manner in which the annual update to the hospice cap is calculated.
NAHC applauds the efforts of Chairmen Wyden and Camp, as well as those of Congressmen Reed and Thompson, for their foresight and leadership in working to realize these important changes, said Val J. Halamandaris, NAHC president. NAHC has an extensive track record of support for legislation to increase the frequency and effectiveness of hospice surveys. We look forward to working with Congress and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on this issue.
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.
The Hospice Association of America (HAA) is a national organization representing thousands of hospices, caregivers and volunteers who serve terminally ill patients and their families. Recently ranked the most effective health care trade organization on Capitol Hill by congressional offices, HAA advocate the industrys interests before Congress, the regulatory agencies, other national organizations, the courts, the media, and the public. The association serves hospices that are freestanding and community-based, as well as those affiliated with home care agencies and hospitals. HAAs members are both Medicare-certified and all-volunteer hospices. HAA is an affiliate of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice. To learn more about HAA, visit www.nahc.org/haa/.