New law allows PAs to provide hospice care to Medicare patients

With the passage of the Medicare Patient Access to Hospice Act last week, physician assistants (PA) will now be able to serve as the attending physician for terminally ill hospice care Medicare patients. Previously, Medicare would only allow physicians and nurse practitioners to serve as hospice patients’ attending physicians.

The new law will also allow PAs to supervise cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs under Medicare beginning in 2024.

The legislation had received bipartisan support and its passage was praised by the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA). In a statement, L. Gail Curtis, PA-C, MPAS, DFAAPA, AAPA president and chair of its board of directors, said, “Too many PAs have patients that have been under their care for years who have been forced to choose between continued care and hospice … This new law will empower PAs to offer continuity of care at a time when patients and their families are most vulnerable.”

Source: Healthcare Finance