The bipartisan group demanded answers from CMS on the implementation of recent reforms aimed at combatting hospice fraud & abuse

WASHINGTON—On Wednesday, May 8, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne (R-TX) led a bipartisan group of 38 lawmakers demanding answers from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the implementation of recent reforms aimed at combatting hospice fraud and abuse.

“When electing to receive hospice care, individuals and their families must be confident the provider is committed to delivering individualized, compassionate care that optimizes quality of life; however, we continue to hear about instances of pervasive fraud and abuse,” the lawmakers wrote.  

“CMS has taken positive steps to increase its oversight of hospice programs … However, we are deeply concerned by new reports indicating many potentially fraudulent hospices are continuing to bill Medicare and CMS is still enrolling suspicious new providers into the program,” they continued.

To better understand the steps CMS has taken to increase program integrity, the lawmakers continued the letter with detailed questions on the implementation of reforms. Read the full letter here.  

“Thank you, Representatives Blumenauer and Van Duyne, for your leadership in holding CMS accountable and safeguarding hospice patients and families from fraudulent activities,” said Ben Marcantonio, interim CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. “Preserving the integrity of the Medicare Hospice Benefit is paramount to ensure high-quality care for Americans with serious illness and end-of-life care needs.”  

The letter follows multiple congressional inquiries led by Blumenauer and Van Duyne in 2023 urging CMS to address program integrity within the hospice benefit.