Contact: Aaron White
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind introduced the bipartisan Rural Access to Hospice Act, which will help ensure Wisconsin seniors and their families have access to hospice care in rural communities. Unfortunately many patients in rural communities are unable to receive hospice care from their local primary care provider because of a technical glitch in Medicare law.
“As Wisconsin seniors and families make end of life care decisions, the last thing they need to focus on is finding a new care provider for their loved one. The Rural Access to Hospice Act will ensure Wisconsin families can keep their local, trusted care provider and give them a little more peace of mind in a trying time,” said Rep. Ron Kind.
When Medicare patients enroll in hospice, they select a physician or nurse practitioner to serve as attending physician. Unlike other services, rural health clinics (RHCs) and federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) cannot bill Medicare for hospice services, which prevents some patients from receiving care from their local provider. The Rural Access to Hospice Act would fix this glitch and allow RHCs and FQHCs to receive payment for hospice care.
The bill was introduced with Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN). Companion legislation was introduced in the Senate by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).
Read the Rural Access to Hospice Act here.