For Immediate Release
September 14, 2022
(Alexandria – VA) The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and its affiliate group, the Hospice Action Network (HAN) recently led a letter on behalf of organizations representing a broad coalition of the hospice, palliative care, and telehealth communities urging Congress to require Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop and implement Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) codes or modifiers for telehealth visits and add them to the hospice claim form.
Throughout the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has granted hospice patients and providers telehealth flexibilities which have expanded access to essential post-acute care and protected the health and wellbeing of the most medically vulnerable populations. These flexibilities allow patients to take part in telehealth visits from wherever they call home and allow for the use of telehealth for low-touch, administrative face-to-face visits prior to recertification for the hospice benefit.
“Hospice and palliative care being delivered through telehealth is currently not measured and therefore, many virtual visits are not noted or captured in any official record,” said Ben Marcantonio, COO and Interim CEO of NHPCO and HAN. “Patients’ records fail to reflect the full scope of care received and hospice organizations are left without a way to fully reflect the quantity of visits and quality of their work.”
“Collecting accurate information is critical to drafting long-term policy, and effective guardrails, around the use of telehealth in the future. Tracking telehealth visits and incorporating them into the hospice claim form is a simple, common-sense approach for appropriate telehealth policy,” said Logan Hoover, VP of Policy and Government Relations for NHPCO and Executive Director of HAN.
List of Supporting Organizations:
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
Hospice Action Network
American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
American Telemedicine Association
American Telemedicine Association Action
Association of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nurses
Center to Advance Palliative Care
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network
Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association
National Association of Homecare and Hospice
The National Palliative Care Research Center
National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation
NAHC Forum of State Associations
NHPCO Council of States
Physician Assistants in Hospice and Palliative Medicine
The Society of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacists
HAN and NHPCO also recently signed a 300-organization-strong stakeholder letter to Senate leadership, led by the Alliance for Connected Care, urging the extension of a wide variety of telehealth flexibilities.