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S. 980: Rural Access to Hospice Act of 2017

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Apr 27, 2017.


Rural Access to Hospice Act of 2017

This bill amends title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act to allow payment under Medicare for certain services furnished to hospice patients by rural health clinics and federally qualified health centers (FQHCs).

With respect to a patient who elects to receive hospice care under Medicare, current law generally limits payment for services that are either duplicative of such care or related to the treatment of the individual's terminal illness. However, current law exempts from this limitation: (1) physicians' services furnished by an attending physician not employed by the hospice program; and (2) services provided or arranged by the hospice program.

The bill expands this exemption with regard to rural health clinic and FQHC services. Specifically, the payment limitation shall not apply to such services that: (1) would otherwise be physicians' services if furnished by an individual unaffiliated with a rural health clinic or FQHC; and (2) are either arranged by the hospice program or furnished by an attending physician not employed by the hospice program.