Missouri Senator Jill Schupp Requests State Seek CMS Waiver to Save Lives, Maximize Use of Personal Protection Equipment and Slow the Spread of COVID-19 in Missouri
Jefferson City, MO (STL.News) Missouri State Senator Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur, in working with hospitals and physicians, has contacted the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services requesting that the state seek a temporary waiver with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to suspend the requirement that hospice face-to-face visits be conducted in person by a physician or nurse practitioner. The physician or nurse practitioner requirement is only to evaluate the efficacy of having the patient continue in hospice, and provides no medical support to the patient.
“These face-to-face hospice visits, which do not provide medical support, pose a grave threat to patients, their families and health care providers during the current COVID-19 pandemic because anyone involved can spread the disease for several days before showing any symptoms,” Sen. Schupp said. “Additionally, these in-person visits use up valuable personal protective equipment that is already running in short supply in many areas. Temporarily waiving this particular requirement will save lives, maximize the use of personal protection equipment for medical personnel and slow the spread of COVID-19 in Missouri.”
“Hospice can be provided at home, in a nursing home or assisted living facility or in an inpatient hospital. Temporarily waiving this one requirement will not diminish the important work of hospice providers throughout the state, but it will help keep hundreds of people safe and healthy during this global pandemic,” said Dr. Patrick White, Chief Medical officer for BJC Hospice. “I appreciate Sen. Schupp’s leadership on this issue as everyone recognizes the need to change the way we live and work for a while to help stop the spread of this virus in our state. I am grateful for the bipartisan support of this action that will save lives and avoid needless infections.”