Keep Hospice out of MA (Medicare Advantage Plans)!

maWell, if you are anything like me – you are already sick of all of the politics on TV.  And the presidential election is still months and months away.  (Yuck! – I may need to avoid the TV)

However, every now and then I here of some potential legislation that gets me all worked up.  There are conversations about including the hospice benefit into Medicare Advantage Plans.  As a co-owner of a locally owned hospice company this really got my attention.  (In reality…. made me want to cry).

NO, NO, NO, this is not a good idea.  This “carve-in” could negatively impact hospices and those we so passionately serve.  It will have the biggest impact on locally owned companies that are not a part of a “chain” or a “hospital system.”

So, many may ask: If hospice is good and Medicare Advantage plans are good – Why would Treasure Valley Hospice be opposed to this legislation?

IT LIMITS PATIENT CHOICE. This important decision should not be limited to a narrow, in-network requirement.  Additionally, those dying of a terminal illness do not have time to fill out paperwork and wait for administrative approval.

IT WILL THREATEN THE FINANCIAL VIABILITY OF LOCALLY OWNED HOSPICE COMPANIES: As a locally owned hospice company we would see an increase in administrative costs and we were forced to negotiate, manage and process claims. Additionally, MA plans are slower to pay claims which would require us to have larger cash reserves and could threaten our financial viability.

I am a supporter of locally owned businesses.  I see the special care that individuals with a life limiting illness are able to receive from locally owned healthcare companies.  Patients and families should not be forced to receive care from the large hospice chains and hospital systems.  INDIVIDUALS SHOULD HAVE A CHOICE IN THEIR HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS.

For more information about end-of-life care, the MA carve-in, or the Care Planning Act, please contact the Hospice Action Network at info@nhpcohan.org.  Or call me…. But I warn you ahead of time… I am pretty passionate about not be including in this carve in.

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