To the editor:
As a hospice advocate, I find it troubling that patients at rural health clinics and federally qualified health centers must leave their trusted physician when they transition to hospice. Because of a billing issue, these vulnerable patients are forced to seek a different physician, sometimes having to travel miles and hours to find an office accepting new patients and willing to accompany them to hospice. Most rural health clinic physicians would prefer to remain with their patients, but are prevented from doing so by a quirk in the law. Thankfully, legislators in Washington, D.C., have taken up this issue and introduced the Rural Access to Hospice Act, which would fix the billing issue and allow such patients to keep their physician. I call on all our members of Congress to cosponsor the Rural Access to Hospice Act and ensure that all Americans are able to access quality hospice care with the physician of their choice.