Letter: Build on the model of hospice care

FILE - This Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018 file photo shows a page from the 2019 U.S. Medicare Handbook in Washington. Medicare Advantage enrollees get a new, second chance to find the right health coverage for 2019. The government added another enrollment window that started Jan. 1 and lasts until March 31. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

In this last election, we saw challengers and incumbents alike campaigning for changes to our fragmented and broken health care system. Now that the 116th Congress has convened, I want to remind members of Congress that the Medicare Hospice Benefit is a person-centered program that works and a coordinated benefit that matters deeply to many Americans.

For those unfamiliar with hospice care, it is not a place or a limited benefit only for those in the final hours of life. Hospice is the original coordinated model of care, bringing together a multidisciplinary team of providers to meet all aspects of a patient's physical, spiritual and emotional needs. Hospice cares for the family of the patient as well, including providing grief and bereavement services after the patient's death.

No other health care sector is required to address all aspects of a patient and family's health and well-being.

As our new Congress looks to strengthen our health system, they should build upon the success of the hospice model and expand access to comprehensive, coordinated care for those facing serious illness and the end of life.

Stephanie Puffer, Eagle Mountain

Submit a letter to the editor

Comments:  (0)