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Legislative Briefs

Endorsed Legislation

S. 3130: Independence at Home Act of 2016

S. 3130 would pay primary care teams (led by physicians or advanced-practice nurses) under Medicare to provide 24/7 comprehensive home-based care centered on the patient’s chronic care needs, including long-term support services. The team would be responsible for coordinating patient care across all treatment settings. The team would stand to earn incentive payments if they exceed the program’s quality standards.

S. 2961: Compassionate Care Act
S. 2961 would improve end-of-life care by providing federal support to educate patients and providers, develop core end-of-life care quality measures, and test innovations in advance care planning via telemedicine.

H.R. 5555: Personalize Your Care Act of 2016
HR 5555 would increase portability of advanced planning documents and promote public awareness of advance care planning. It would accomplish these goals by several means including making advance directives portable, establishing quality metrics for end-of-life care, and providing for public awareness and practitioner training.

S.3096: Removing Barriers to Person-Centered Care Act of 2016
S. 3096 intends to cut burdensome regulation in Medicare and promote innovation. It would direct Medicare officials to use budget and its demonstration project authority to establish a pilot program administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to set up to 20 “advanced care collaboratives” of health care providers and community-based social service organizations. The organizers of potential collaboratives could apply to Medicare official for funding.

S. 1354/H.R. 1202: The Medicare Patient Access to Hospice Act of 2015
These bills would allow physician assistants for a Medicare hospice provider to perform the same “attending physician” role as a nurse practitioner can currently perform. The intention of the bill is to make hospice more accessible.

S. 2748/H.R. 3119: The Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act
Defines palliative and hospice care, and amends the Public Health Service Act to increase the number of permanent faculty in palliative care at accredited allopathic and osteopathic medical schools, nursing schools, social work schools, and other programs, including physician assistant education programs, to promote education and research in palliative care and hospice, and to support the development of faculty careers in academic palliative medicine.

S. 857/H.R. 1559: The Health Outcomes, Planning, and Education (HOPE) for Alzheimer’s Act
Creates “comprehensive Alzheimer’s disease care planning services” as a new Medicare covered service to be provided on a one-time basis to a newly diagnosed individual as well as the individual’s “personal representative” and/or family caregiver(s).

H.R. 2208- Hospice Commitment to Accurate and Relevant Encounters (Hospice CARE) Act
This bill allows medical professionals to conduct face-to-face encounters with patients to determine continued eligibility for hospice care before the first 60-day (currently 180-day) recertification period and each subsequent recertification. The act involves medical professionals more in the certification of ongoing eligibility for hospice care and people are receiving care that is in line with their goals and values.

S. 1549- Care Planning Act of 2015
The Care Planning Act makes it easier for doctors and patients to have necessary conversations to determine the best options for care as we approach the end of our lives. The bipartisan legislation would further efforts to strengthen end-of-life care by developing quality measures, promoting public and provider education, and improving portability for advanced planning documents to to ensure patients’ choices are honored.

Legislation Pending Endorsement

S. 2297/H.R. 4059: the Medicare Choices Empowerment and Protection Act
These bills would pay a modest sum (up to $75) to Medicare beneficiaries to voluntarily adopt advance directives guiding the medical care they want to receive if they are unable to speak for themselves. Medicare officials would establish a system to certify and store advance directives for later access by family members and providers.

Opposed Legislation

H.R. 410: Protecting Life Until Natural Death Act