This blog is an overview of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) podcast on what to expect in the first 100 days of the Trump administration. It was presented by the leaders of the NHPCO Health Policy Team, Jon Keyserling and Sharon Scribner Pearce, and can be found at http://www.nhpco.org/podcast called Podcast Special Feature – Week One of the Trump Administration: What it Means for Hospice.
The short answer is that we do not know. As this new administration works to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, we cannot predict what will happen or how Medicare will be affected at this point in time. Medicare is the primary provider for hospice services. Hopefully it will not have a negative effect on hospice, but changes to Medicare and Medicaid are unknown at this time. The entire repeal of ACA can lead to a major backlash because almost 50% of the country approves of Obamacare, so the crystal ball into the future of hospice coverage is hazy.
Trump has named Tom Price (R-Ga) to head up the Department of Health and Human Services. He has been a strong critic of the ACA and his website describes him as devoted to “limited government and lower spending.” Seema Verma, a healthcare consultant, has been named to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid which can directly affect hospice care and services. She is very active in Medicare reform which leaves a question mark about how this will affect hospice and palliative care programs.
Although we don’t know what will happen in the upcoming weeks and months, NHPCO and Hospice Action Network (HAN) are dedicated to continue lobbying on Capitol Hill for the support of hospice. They will be working hard to educate officials who are new to office in the new administration. They will be cultivating relationships with member of Congress, who can in turn, advocate for hospice in the areas they represent.
If you are interested in becoming more active in the policy making processes for hospice, the Hospice Action Network and NHPCO have resources to help you find a way to be active and engaged, and they want people from all areas of hospice to join in the cause. Hospice Action Network (hospiceactionnetwork.org) will send you a monthly wrap-up of events, and action alerts that need immediate action.
They want YOU!!!
For more information on the Hospice Action Network got to hospiceactionnetwork.org, check them out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/hospiceactionnetwork/?hc_ref=SEARCH&fref=nf, or call them at 703-837-1500.