NHPCO's Banach: A Community-Based Palliative Benefit May Come in 2021

Hospice News/By Jim Parker

A community-based palliative care benefit may emerge from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services during 2021, according to National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) President and CEO Edo Banach. Though nothing is certain, Banach told Hospice News that factors exist that make it more likely to occur, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

Currently Medicare reimburses for palliative care physician services through fee-for-service payment programs that do not sufficiently cover the full range of interdisciplinary care, but calls grew louder among health care stakeholders and policymakers during the pandemic for Medicare to establish a dedicated community-based palliative care benefit.

“We’re incredibly hopeful that this is the year, after decades of talking about it, that we’re actually going to get a benefit that we can wrap our arms around,” said Banach during the opening keynote of NHPCO’s Leadership & Advocacy Conference . . . 

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