nhpco legislative campaign

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

NHPCO Legislative Campaign

I’ve written a bit recently about the Medicare hospice payment changes proposed in the president’s budget, and now NHPCO has a tool to help you let our legislators know about your feelings on this issue.

If you are like me, the effort you must go through to write your Senators or Representative a letter about any subject isn’t worth the minuscule impact that the letter will have. Seriously, do you really think your senator is going to read your letter and change their mind based on what you say? Maybe I’m jaded, but I don’t really think my elected officials really care what I think.

With that in mind, NHPCO has made it much easier to send a letter to the people you helped elect. Go to their Cap Wizard, click on ” Help Protect the Hospice Reimbursement Rate”, write your letter, put in your zip code, and magically your letter will be delivered to the right person. It is quick and easy, and as best I can tell, you don’t have to be a member to use the tool.

While I don’t believe that one letter makes a difference to our elected officials, I do believe that when they get enough mail on a subject they start to listen. So, pass this info on to everyone in your office. If every hospice worker in your area used the Cap Wizard, I’m almost positive your elected officials would get the message. The reality is that if this budget passes without the hospice portion being changed, the reduction in reimbursement will force hospices to change the way they operate. I believe hospice is awesome! We’re not perfect, but cutting our rates by 15% is only going to hurt.



I wrote a letter to my my Senator and yesterday got a reply from him thanking me for concerns regarding Medicare payments for home health and hospice. The rest of the letter addressed my concerns as if they were about home health, not hospice. Would have been nice if he had specifically addressed hospice since that was what my letter was about.