Congressman Gets First-hand Look at Hospice Care in Nursing Facilities
At Hospice by the Bay, we are committed to caring for patients wherever they call home. For some, that’s a skilled nursing facility, where hospice’s specialized support and expertise enhances the custodial care by facility staff. Unfortunately, some Washington lawmakers may make hospice care in nursing facilities a target in upcoming Medicare budget cuts.
On November 1, California Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA, 5th District)made an information-gathering visit to Golden Living/London House in Sonoma, Calif., to meet with Hospice by the Bay clinical staff, representatives from the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization, Golden Living administrators and a patient with her family. He saw first-hand how essential hospice is in meeting terminally ill patients’ medical and other needs beyond what facilities can provide.
Thompson is a strong hospice advocate and the lead Democratic sponsor of H.R. 3506, the HELP Hospice Act, legislation that supports vital hospice funding and access. His support comes at a time when the hospice community is facing severe cuts in Medicare reimbursement and other regulatory challenges. Congressional passage of H.R. 3506 would grant providers some relief from the financial pressures created as more and more terminally ill Americans choose hospice care. The bill would also address ways to ensure that hospices can continue to deliver high-quality end-of-life care to all those in need.
As the second hospice in the U.S. and the first in California, Hospice by the Bay was a pioneer in educating physicians and the public on the idea that everyone has the right to humane end-of-life care. In 1986, we were part of the lobbying effort to pass the first Medicare Hospice Benefit. Twenty-five years later, we’re still defending government funding that gives everyone the right to hospice.
For more about the HELP Hospice Act or other legislation affecting your right to hospice care, visit the Hospice Action Network’s Legislative Action Center. Then share this blog with everyone you know. Your voice can make a difference.