Senators Work to Allow PAs to Serve as Hospice Attending Physicians
Legislation May Soon be Approved by Senate Finance Committee
June 10, 2015 09:38 AM
In recent weeks, Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) introduced legislation that would grant Medicare beneficiaries, upon election of hospice care, the right to select their physician assistants (PAs) to serve as their attending physician for purposes of hospice care. Existing law limits choice of hospice attending physician to the patient’s physician or Nurse Practitioner (NP); NPs were authorized to serve as hospice attending physicians under Section 408 of the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA). Enzi’s legislation, The Medicare Patient Access to Hospice Act of 2015 (S. 1354) is cosponsored by Senator Thomas Carper (D-DE).
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) strongly supports efforts to allow hospice patients to choose their PA to continue to provide services related to the terminal prognosis upon election of hospice care, and has endorsed S. 1354. NAHC understands that the Senate Finance Committee is planning a markup of health legislation in the coming weeks and that S. 1354 is listed among non-controversial policy changes that the committee hopes to include as part of the legislation they act upon.
NAHC urges its members to use the Legislative Action Center to encourage your senators to support S. 1354.