Sample Letter to the Editor Regarding New Research on the Value of Hospice Care
Guidance: This sample letter to the editor (LTE) is provided as a resource for our members. Please check the website of the most relevant newspaper in your city, state, or region to determine their process for submitting LTEs. Most newspapers provide clear guidelines about word counts for LTEs. This draft is less than 175 words, though the word count will change slightly as you customize it. Please note the highlighted portions of the document, where you will need to insert pertinent information. You should also feel free to customize the letter in other ways, while keeping in mind the word count guidelines for the relevant newspaper.
To the Editor:
President Carter’s decision in mid-February to enter hospice is a choice more than 27 million Americans have made, with increasing numbers selecting this option as more people get to know hospice care. In 2019, 1.61 million Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in hospice, and according to new research by NORC at the University of Chicago, hospice saved Medicare $3.5 billion that year. The research also found in the last year of life, the total costs of care to Medicare for beneficiaries who used hospice was 3.1% lower than for beneficiaries who did not use hospice. What’s more, the longer people spend in hospice, the greater the savings to Medicare—a critical point as policymakers look for ways to extend the Medicare Trust Fund.
Unfortunately, a proposal by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission to cut hospice spending will threaten the future availability of this important service. As one of the hospices serving [insert state name], I hope Rep. [insert local Congressman/woman name] and Senators [Name] and [Name] will protect this vital service for our state’s residents.