Medical person places hand on patient in gesture of reassurance

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and several other prominent home care organizations this week sent a letter urging Congress to continue a moratorium on automatic cuts in Medicare hospice payments. The moratorium is set to expire at the end of this year.

“The automatic Medicare sequester cuts faced by the hospice community and Statutory PAYGO cuts were built into legislation years before COVID-19,” NHPCO President and CEO Edo Banach said in a release. “Allowing these cuts to go into effect in the middle of a pandemic would harm serious illness and end-of-life patients.”

The letter cited the “physical, mental and emotional toll the pandemic has taken on hospice an palliative care practitioners” and the “severe financial pressure” it has imposed on hospices.

“Now is not the time for reductions in Medicare payments to providers that could further exacerbate access challenges for those in in need of high-quality serious illness care,” the letter said.

Also signing the letter were the National Association for Home Care & Hospice and LeadingAge.

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