An op-ed authored by NCCS CEO Shelley Fuld Nasso and published in the Santa Barbara Independent today championed hospice care, the Medicare Care Choices Program, and cancer care planning for Medicare beneficiaries.
“Just as the hospice program will give the patient the power to decide the elements of their care, cancer care planning will provide patients the tools to make informed decisions about their cancer treatment and help prepare them for their chosen treatment.”
Citing the common view that seeking hospice care is equivalent to “giving up,” Fuld Nasso notes that a flaw in the current system is that patients must effectively end active treatment to obtain the symptom management they need to manage their terminal illness. Under a recently announced pilot program called the Medicare Care Choices Program, seniors will be able to have more control over their treatment choices while seeking the support of hospice care.
Fuld Nasso also notes the ongoing commitment to quality cancer care exhibited through the leadership of Representative Lois Capps (D-CA). Rep. Capps most recently introduced the Planning Actively for Cancer Treatment (PACT) Act (HR 2477), an important reform that would establish a Medicare benefit for cancer care planning services for all Medicare beneficiaries with cancer. The PACT Act is the top legislative priority for NCCS,