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Public Statements

Prohibition of Collection of Copayments for All Hospice Care Furnished by Department of Veterans Affairs

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington DC

PROHIBITION ON COLLECTION OF COPAYMENTS FOR ALL HOSPICE CARE FURNISHED BY DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

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Mr. FILNER. I thank Mr. Miller for bringing us this bill, because working with Mr. Michaud of Maine, we have an important piece of legislation that most people would have thought dealt with a problem that didn't exist.

Mr. Speaker, hospice and palliative care is a continuum of comfort-oriented and supportive services provided across settings, including hospitals, extended facilities, outpatient clinics and private residences. The VA offers a complement of hospice and palliative care options as part of a comprehensive health care benefit of provided to all veterans who are enrolled in our system.

Under current law, a veteran receiving hospice care in a nursing home is exempt from any applicable copayments. However, if the hospice care is provided in any other setting, such as an acute-care hospital or at home, the veteran may be subject to an in-patient or out-patient primary care copayment. This policy penalizes a veteran who chooses to remain at home for their hospice care or who, out of medical necessity, receives hospice care in an acute care setting.

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Mr. FILNER. Mr. Speaker, once again, I would state that with bipartisan working arrangements we have brought forward a package of bills today from the Veterans Committee which deals not only with our older veterans, but with our returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, and that's what we will continue to do.

I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 2623, as amended

Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.


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