Washington, DC, July 30th, 2021: The National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation (NPHI) applauds Senator Jackie Rosen (D-NV), John Barrasso (R-WY), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Deb Fischer (R-NE) for their leadership in introducing the Expanding Access to Palliative Care for Seniors Act. Additionally, Senators Rosen, Barrasso, and Baldwin introduced the Improving Access to Transform Care for Hospice Patients Act of 2021. Both bipartisan bills promise to strengthen patient access to high-quality, continuous, person-centered palliative and hospice care. NPHI looks forward to working alongside policymakers to enact this critically important legislation.
The Expanding Access to Palliative Care for Seniors Act would require the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop and implement a demonstration project to provide and coordinate community-based palliative care in concert with a variety of healthcare providers. The demonstration would aim to improve patient experiences and care outcomes while simultaneously reducing unnecessary hospitalization or unwanted emergency room visits for clinically complex, high-risk patients.
“We know that those with serious or advanced illness often receive excessive clinical attention, resulting in decreased care quality and higher costs,” said Tom Koutsoumpas, CEO of NPHI. “The Expanding Access to Palliative Care for Seniors Act addresses this problem directly and we’re proud to support it.”
Additionally, the Improving Access to Transfusion Care for Hospice Patients Act of 2021 would permit hospice providers to bill Medicare for blood transfusions separately, outside of bundled payments. Currently, due to the cost of such procedures, many patients are forced to forgo care guaranteed by the Medicare hospice benefit to retain access to transfusions.
“The purpose of all our work is to ensure that people living with serious illnesses do not have to decide between quality of life and potentially life-saving treatments,” said Andrew MacPherson, Senior Policy Advisor, NPHI. “This bill is an important step in the right direction for those in need of transfusions and palliative care.”
National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation
The National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation (NPHI) is a collaborative of 70+ not-for-profit, community-integrated hospice and palliative care providers dedicated to ensuring patients and their families have access to care that reflects their individual goals, values and preferences. Representing providers from 31 states and the District of Columbia, NPHI and its members help design more innovative and effective models of care, advocate for comprehensive and community-integrated care customized to meet each person’s unique needs, and build collaboration between national thought leaders, decision-makers, and other healthcare stakeholders to improve hospice care.