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Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Hearing: Representative Jenkins Discusses the Importance of Improving Medicare

Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 12:44 PM

The U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Health Subcommittee gathered on June 8 for a “Member Day” hearing, including 20 bipartisan Members who presented legislative proposals on improving Medicare.

Representative Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) explained the importance of the Medicare Patient Access to Hospice Act (H.R. 1202), which would acknowledge attending physician assistants as attending physicians that serve hospice patients.

Last year, the bill was introduced by Representative Jenkins and Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA). Now, there are 36 additional cosponsors. In the U.S. Senate, Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Tom Carper (D-DE) presented similar legislation (S. 1354). The current law limits each patient’s choice of a hospice attending physician to the patient's physician or Nurse Practitioner (NP).

“H.R. 1202, the Medicare Patient Access to Hospice Act, which I introduced with Congressman Thompson, will allow physician assistants to receive reimbursement from Medicare as the attending physician in a hospice setting,” Rep. Jenkins said. In explaining the importance of the bill, she said hospice care is “incredibly important” in her district where there is “a lack of hospitals and doctors’ offices that urban districts have with large health systems.”

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