(Alexandria, Va) As a follow up to collaboration with the COVID-19 Task Force, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization sent a letter to the White House on March 10 requesting an immediate declaration of a national disaster or emergency and that hospice be an included provider in any 1135 blanket waiver that is issued. Declaring a national disaster under the Stafford Act would free up to $40 billion in immediate aid.
A disaster declaration provides additional flexibility for some provisions of the Medicare Hospice Conditions of Participation. This will allow hospice providers to have additional flexibility for the timeframes for the initial and comprehensive assessments, plan of care updates, allow for contracting for core services, and adjusting the level of activity for the use of volunteers. This will also allow hospice providers to continue caring for patients in their location of care, including private homes and facilities, reducing risk of exposure to them, their caregivers and the public.
“This is a rapidly evolving situation. NHPCO is working with CMS and the Administration to ensure that patients continue to receive the care they need while promoting the health and safety of those patients, their loved ones, and the hospice and palliative care providers who care for them,” said NHPCO President and CEO Edo Banach.
NHPCO’s priority is supporting hospice and palliative care providers in their work and the patients and families they serve. As global attention continues to focus on COVID-19, NHPCO has been working to gather the most current information from the most reputable sources. A webpage offering links to important information is available at nhpco.org/coronavirus. As more information becomes available, NHPCO will keep this page updated.
NHPCO looks forward to continued collaboration with the Administration to ensure that hospice and palliative care providers can provide uninterrupted care while promoting safety and health for all Americans.
Vice President, Communications