Former LA Senator Speaks to the Value of Hospice Care

Value of Medicare Hospice Benefit.

Recently, former Senator John Breaux (D-La) wrote an article entitled, “Preserving the Medicare Hospice Blog,” which was published in the Congress Blog on the online version of The Hill, a newspaper written for and about the U.S. Congress.  In this article, he discusses the value of the Medicare Hospice Benefit and the need to retain this type of care, particularly as the hospice payment system is currently undergoing review.

While he does see the need for increased accountability within the Medicare program, he encourages Congress and the regulatory agencies involved to be reminded of the unique nature of hospice care, particularly regarding the “very singular nature of each patient’s response to care.”  He goes on to say, “This recognition will go a long way toward protecting the intent that my colleagues and I had when we enacted the hospice benefit.  More importantly, it will preserve this unique benefit so that it can continue to bring greater comfort and meaning to the lives of terminally ill individuals and those who love them.”

To read Breaux’s article in its entirety, click here.

Breaux was a member of the House of Representatives when the Medicare Hospice Benefit was created in 1982 and has been a longstanding advocate for hospice care.  He currently is senior counsel to Patton Boggs LLC and includes the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) as a client.

How do you feel about potential changes being made to the Hospice Medicare Benefit?