NHPCO Urges HHS to Support Hospice Community with Essential COVID-19 Testing Resources
Testing Needs of the Hospice Community Continue to Grow
(Alexandria, Va) - In a letter sent to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar on September 14, 2020, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) reiterated the need for federal support for the hospice provider community as they meet COVID-19 testing mandates and do their part in mitigating the spread of the virus.
With COVID-19 infection rates increasing throughout regions of the U.S. and new testing mandates being imposed at the state and federal level, hospice providers are experiencing difficulty accessing tests and covering costs for their frontline hospice workers.
NHPCO requested $500 million in dedicated funding for test kits and rapid point-of-care testing machines in order to efficiently test hospice staff, family members and visitors of hospice patients and meet state and nursing home requirements back on July 27, 2020.
This funding would be aimed at providing COVID-19 tests for hospice staff working in patients’ homes, nursing homes, hospice facilities, and assisted living facilities.
“Hospice professionals are out in the community, providing care in patients’ homes and in facilities where the individuals they serve live or are being cared for and it is essential to safeguard the health of people in these communities against possible transmission of COVID-19,” said NHPCO President and CEO Edo Banach. “Adequate funding for and access for testing supplies and equipment is necessary to protect all Americans during this challenging public health crisis.”