Wanting to Learn More about Hospice?

PAs and Hospice Update

Thanks to our partners at AAPA and the National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care, CMS heard our concerns about limits to our ability to prescribe medications to our patients on hospice.

CMS released it's final ruling on the rule changes from this summer on November 15th, 2019.  There were a number of PA-positive changes made, and we have much to be thankful for!  For the hospice-PA specific rule changes click here and for the full CMS document click here.

In Summary:

  • PAs will continue to be recognized nationally by CMS and reimbursed by Medicare as Hospice Attendings ("Attending Physician").
  • PAs will be able to prescribe/sign for orders for their patients on hospice that relate to the terminal/hospice diagnosis
  • However, CMS states that PAs CANNOT be employed directly by a Hospice.
  • PAs still will need to check with their own state statutes and regulations pertaining to hospice care and whether your own state will recognize PAs as a Hospice Attending and recognize hospice orders from PAs.  AAPA remains engaged and will help advocate for state-level changes.

While there is much we still would like to see changed--PA employment with hospices directly, reimbursement for face-to-face visits for recertification, terminal illness certification privileges--we are happy that PAs can now care for out patients through the full life spectrum.  Being able to partner with a hospice and continue palliative care as the end-of-life nears is so important for quality patient care, continuity of relationships, and addressing the workforce shortage in hospice and palliative care.

We know a number of you also shared your own comments with CMS and encouraged others to do so--for that, a big THANK YOU!  It made a difference!  

Click Here to see PAHPM’s Official Comment and Response to the Rule in September 2019.

We will continue to keep you updated and even now, are partnering with our Coalition Partners and AAPA to be prepared to bring to reality PAs following patients on to hospice and fulling caring for them and being full partners with and on hospices across this country.  More will need to be done at the national and state level, and we thank you in advance for helping keep this momentum going!

See the AAPA page with Hospice FAQs.

Keep an eye out on this space for updates and further guidance!

More work to do!

Needing resources on how to care for patients on Hospice?

Visit some of these resources here.   Members, more to come on this website!

End-of-Life Resources --Collection of content from AFP on End-of-Life Care and Resources

The Hospice Referral

The Role of the Family Physician in the Hospice Referral and Management of Hospice