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HomeLatest NewsFederal NewsRural Access to Hospice Act Introduced

Rural Access to Hospice Act Introduced

The bipartisan Rural Access to Hospice Act (S. 1190/H.R. 2594) will fix a technical glitch to ensure seniors can access hospice care and choose their own doctor as the attending physician.

When a Medicare beneficiary becomes eligible for hospice, they select a physician or nurse practitioner to serve as their attending physician. Unfortunately, providers working in Rural Health Centers (RHC) and Federal Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) cannot bill and be paid for hospice attending physician services. This statutory barrier restricts choice for some of the most underserved populations by not allowing patients to choose the RHC or FQHC provider they know and trust to serve as their attending during hospice care.

The Rural Access to Hospice Act will allow RHCs and FQHCs to receive payment for hospice services while acting as attending physicians for their patients. This would allow RHCs and FQHCs to bill and be paid for hospice attending physician services the same way they are currently paid for other services they provide.

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO)​ is now asking Members of Congress to support this legislation to ensure more Americans have access to high-quality hospice care.

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