Reps. Van Duyne and Blumenauer Lead Bipartisan Letter Calling for Increased Oversight of Unacceptable Fraud and Abuse in Hospice Care
Yesterday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Representatives Beth Van Duyne (TX-24) and Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) sent a letter to CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure expressing their concern about fraud and abuse within the hospice benefit and requesting a briefing on CMS’s hospice-related oversight activities as well as any gaps in oversight tools.
The letter said in part, “Hospice can be an important part of a patient’s care, but only if it is operating as intended. We stand ready to work with CMS to ensure that this continues to be a safe option for patients while ensuring that congressional oversight is carried out, and we look forward to hearing from you on these matters.”
“When a loved one needs end-of-life care, we expect them to be treated with dignity and care – anything less is a violation of our trust that cannot go unanswered,” said Rep. Van Duyne. “I thank my friend and colleague, Congressman Blumenauer, for his partnership on this critical issue. As we await answers from CMS, I am continuing to work with my friends on both sides of the aisle to increase federal oversight and restore integrity to the hospice program.”
“I appreciate Representative Van Duyne’s leadership on this issue because each and every single person deserves humane and compassionate options for their end-of-life care,” said Congressman Blumenauer (OR-03). “Reports of fraud and abuse are deeply concerning and merit the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ full attention and oversight. I am committed to working in a bipartisan fashion with my friends in Congress and the Administration to ensure patients and families can rest assured that they are receiving safe, high-quality care.”
“Our goal in collaborating with members of Congress and CMS is to ensure quality of care through improved hospice program integrity. The series of recommendations that we have put forth to Administrator Brooks-LaSure, in conjunction with other national hospice groups and organizations across the country, clearly communicates our commitment to preventing fraud and abuse. We look forward to continuing these efforts by working with Representatives Van Duyne and Blumenauer to advance meaningful change which will better protect patients and families from bad actors,” said NHPCO COO and interim CEO, Ben Marcantonio.
The full letter can be found here.