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:: NAHC Report
 
  NAHC Report: Issue# 2681, 6/9/2015
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ARTICLE ARCHIVES MEMBER RESOURCES eNEWSLETTERS CARING STORE
Senators Work to Allow PAs to Serve as Hospice Attending Physicians
Pressure Mounts to Remove Medicare Cuts from Trade Legislation
For Your Information: Registration is now open for NAHC’s 2015 Annual Meeting
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Senators Work to Allow PAs to Serve as Hospice Attending Physicians
Legislation May Soon be Approved by Senate Finance Committee

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.

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Pressure Mounts to Remove Medicare Cuts from Trade Legislation
Reports Indicate Congressional Leaders have Agreed to Remove Medicare Cuts

With a growing number of lawmakers in the U.S. House expressing opposition to the use of Medicare cuts to pay for the cost of legislation reauthorizing the Trade Adjustment Assistance program (TAA), the latest reports indicate it is increasingly likely the Medicare cuts will be removed from the legislation. 

As previously reported, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) partnered with other health care and senior groups in order to oppose a provision in the TAA legislation that cuts Medicare to offset the cost of the bill.  Subsequently, several members of Congress expressed their opposition to the Medicare cuts by circulating a letter addressed to House Speak John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The Senate passed the trade legislation last month, but the House has yet to act with many representatives on both sides of the aisle expressing opposition.

Now, according to information received by NAHC, House leaders have agreed in principle to removing the Medicare cuts and replacing them with a separate offset, in what would be a huge victory for health care and senior advocates.  According to POLITICO, House leaders have decided to offset the bill by increasing tax penalties on companies that file incorrect 1099 tax returns and stepping up enforcement of fraudulent higher education tax credit claims.

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Registration is now open for NAHC’s 2015 Annual Meeting

Registration for NAHC’s Annual Meeting is now open! The conference is October 28-30, 2015, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

To register for the conference and to make your reservation at the Gaylord Opryland, click here.

 

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