Urge Your Senators to Rescind the Hospice Rate Cut Regulation

Jun 1, 2009

ACTION NEEDED – Take action now at http://capwiz.com/socialworkers/issues/alert/?alertid=13377841

Please contact your Senators today and urge them to sign the Specter, Harkin, Roberts, and Wyden Dear Colleague letter, asking President Obama to rescind the hospice rate cut regulation. This letter is similar to the House letter being submitted to President Obama, which garnered 169 signatures under the leadership of Representatives Van Hollen and Brown-Waite and with the support of NASW members. Without additional action, the moratorium on hospice rate cuts will expire later this year.

To send an e-mail: Click on Take Action and add your name to a draft letter, which you can edit and e-mail to your Senators.

A CMS regulation to reduce Medicare reimbursement to hospices by phasing out the hospice Budget Neutrality Adjustment Factor (BNAF) over a three-year period took effect on October 1, 2008. Fortunately, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 included a provision to delay implementation of the rule until September 30, 2009, thereby allowing hospice programs to continue providing high-quality and compassionate end-of-life care to more than 1.4 million individuals and families each year.When the moratorium expires this autumn, however, the hospice rate cuts will be phased back in at an even greater magnitude for the next fiscal year. These cuts will cause many small, rural hospice programs to close their doors permanently, severely hindering patient access to essential services. Senators Arlen Specter, Tom Harkin, Pat Roberts, and Ron Wyden are circulating a letter to President Obama, asking him to rescind the hospice rate cut regulation immediately and enable hospices nationwide to continue fulfilling their crucial mission.

Thank you for your advocacy.