To the editor:

As we recognize National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, I want to encourage our members of Congress to pass the Rural Access to Hospice Act (HR 1828/S.980) so that all Americans can have timely access to high-quality hospice care.

In many of our rural and underserved communities, primary care providers serve in federally qualified health clinics or rural health centers, which means they are unable to accept Medicare payment for hospice services - leaving individuals and families in rural America and in underserved communities unable to access important end-of-life care.

Legislation to change this is currently before the Senate and has bipartisan support. No one should ever be denied the benefits of hospice care because of where they live. Please join me in urging Congress to pass the Rural Access to Hospice Act to ensure all people receive the care they need at the end of life.

Evelyn Quast

Maple Grove