Related topics

Medicare Hospice Benefit matters deeply to Americans

February 10, 2019 GMT

In this last election, we saw candidates and incumbents alike campaigning for changes to our fragmented and broken healthcare 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. Additionally, hospice cares for the family of the patient as well, including providing grief and bereavement services after the patient’s death. No other healthcare sector is required to address all aspects of a patient and family’s health and wellbeing.


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.

Nikki Gruis Diekmann, Rochester