Thursday, January 16, 2020

Be Equipped to Face the Federal Focus on Hospices

Following the July 2019 release of reports from the OIG on concerns with oversight and quality of hospice care in the United States, it is more important now than ever that providers are on top of their regulatory and quality practices. Additionally, with program integrity legislation introduced by the Senate and the imminent release of a separate bill expected from the House of Representatives, the focus on the hospice community is truly heightened.

 As a part of our efforts to help providers navigate these critical issues, the 2020 Leadership and Advocacy Conference will be the first opportunity that members of your team can take part in both the Hospice Compliance Certificate Program and the inaugural offering of the Quality Certificate Program. In addition to these preconference offerings, the regulatory and quality tracks that run through the conference will continue to address the pressing importance of these issues with sessions on cost reporting, compliance risks, reimbursement, and demonstration models. We are proud to have Don Berwick as our opening keynote. We will also have representation from CMS, the MACs, CMMI and the OIG, making participation in LAC particularly valuable to hospice leaders and managers.

Your entire team needs to be on board with at least the basic components of regulatory and quality issues for your program to thrive in 2020.

Preconference Offerings:

  • Hospice Compliance Certificate Program
  • Hospice Quality Certificate Program
  • Achieving Success in Value-Based Payment Models

Concurrent sessions include:

  • Moving Community-Based Palliative Care to The Joint Commission Certification
  • Hospice Medicare Updates from NGS
  • Navigating and Contracting Inpatient Care under the New Medicare Payment Rates
  • Establishing Leading Indicators of the Care Experience
  • Focusing Auditing and Monitoring Resources on Your Compliance Risk Areas
  • Enhancing Patient Quality of Life Through Comprehensive Symptom Management

See the full LAC agenda that lists the preconference offerings and concurrent sessions.

Register by January 31, 2020 to capture the early-bird registration rates!

Download the 2020 LAC brochure (PDF).

Monday, January 13, 2020

Registration is open for Leadership and Advocacy Conference 2020

The NHPCO Leadership and Advocacy Conference is where hospice and palliative care leaders gather to exchange ideas, strategies, and solutions. The impact of your LAC2020 experience will last beyond March, with sessions that focus on strengthening your organization and connecting with other leaders in the field. Register before January 31, 2020 and receive early-bird registration!

Leadership and Advocacy Conference
March 25 – 27, 2020
Preconference and Hill Day event: March 23 – 24
Gaylord National Harbor (a suburb of Washington, DC)

There’s nothing like a face-to-face conference to recharge your batteries, fuel your creativity, and renew your sense of mission. Joining us for LAC2020 is an investment in yourself and your organization. You won’t want to miss the 75+ educational sessions covering these topics:
  • Advocacy
  • Clinical and Operations Management
  • Emerging Markets and Partnership Opportunities
  • Engagement and Marketing
  • Finance
  • Fund Development
  • Leadership
  • Palliative Care
  • Quality
  • Regulatory
  • Staff Development
Opening keynote speaker will be Don Berwick, MD, former administrator at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Founding CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

LAC2020 includes an array of preconference seminar and our 2-day Capitol Hill event on March 23 and 24. Learn more about the LAC preconference.

Check out the complete LAC agenda.

Hosted at the Gaylord National Harbor Resort and Convention Center located just across the river from Washington, DC. Attend LAC at National Harbor and find exciting attractions, shopping, dining and nightlife – in addition to the field’s leading conference experience created for hospice and palliative care leaders and managers.

Download a copy of the LAC promotional brochure.

Online registration is open now!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Hosting a Hospice Resource Fair on Capitol Hill

Please join the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care for a free resource fair celebrating the hospice community and highlighting the great work of various community organizations.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020
11:00 AM – 2:00 PM EST

Rayburn House Office Building, Foyer
45 Independence Avenue Southwest
Washington, DC 20515

Did you know that…

  • Hospices often provide bereavement care in the wake of natural disasters, opioid overdoses, and mass casualty events?
  • Hospices work with the Department of Veterans Affairs through the We Honor Veterans program to honor Veterans at the end of life?
  • Hospices partner with Pet Peace of Mind to ensure that pets of hospice patients are well cared for, and re-homed when necessary?
  • Hospices are required to utilize volunteers, who provide compassionate care and assistance to patients and their caregivers?

Refreshments, music therapy demonstrations, and animal companionship will be provided.

Please join NHPCO and the National Coalition as they reach out to Congressional staff and help inform the public about the multitude of services hospice provides. 

Note: ID/security check is required to enter the Rayburn House Office Building.

Register for the free event.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

A New Year Begins: A Message from Edo Banach

It's 2020, the New Year is here.

During the holiday season that brought 2019 to a close with Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, I hope you found time to spend with family and loved ones. As one year comes to a close and a new one begins, many of us think about resolutions for the year. As I start a new year, I find it important to express gratitude for all that I have in my life - my family, my vocation, my colleagues and friends... In this spirit, I want to share some of the content that is included in the Winter 2019 edition of our member publication, NewsLine. “The Gift of…” article that beings on page 24 reminds us of the importance of the work we do and how it’s more than a profession but a calling to serve. From the legacy of Lou Alvarez, to memories made possible by NHF Lighthouse of Hope, to the service of our volunteer award honorees, and the power of music as an expression, please take some time to read and share these stories that you'll find in digital NewsLine

This issue of NewsLine also shares some reminders of the ongoing work that we share in ensuring all people have access to person- and family-centered care. For example, I was honored to provide testimony to the House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee on the importance of person-centered, interdisciplinary care at the hearing on Caring for Aging Americans. I share some reflections that may be of interest. You will also find some information on program integrity legislation that has been introduced in the Senate and is likely to factor into activity and advocacy in the year ahead.

The year ahead will likely include opportunities to focus on quality and to expand our reach beyond the traditional Medicare hospice benefit. We will also be faced with challenges as regulators, legislators and the administration continue to look closely at hospice care in the U.S. in ways both positive and concerning. Please rest assured that NHPCO and our affiliates are ready to work with our membership to support them through all that is ahead of us. It can be the times that challenge us the most that help us realize how resilient we really are, and spur needed innovation and change within our community.

Let me offer a final thought of appreciation to all those who support NHPCO through membership, sponsorship, advocacy efforts, and involvement in this organization in too many ways to list. Thank you. And if your organization is not a current NHPCO provider member, I encourage you to think about joining us this year; more information in online.

I look forward to the year ahead!

President and CEO

Monday, December 16, 2019

Request for a Delay in VBID Model Implementation

On December 13, 2019, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the Medicare Rights Center submitted a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requesting the addition of consumer protections to a CMS proposal to carve in the Medicare hospice benefit in Medicare Advantage, as well as a delay in implementation of at least one year. 

As it stands, the CMS Innovation Center is planning to expand the Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) Model to allow Medicare Advantage plans to include hospice coverage in plan designs for the first time in 2021. Since the inception of Medicare Part C, MA plans have “carved out” hospice care, leaving plan enrollees to receive end-of-life care under traditional Medicare Part A.

The VBID model is designed to reduce Medicare program expenditures, enhance the quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries, and improve the coordination and efficiency of health care service delivery. CMS has not yet shared information necessary for plans to begin to include hospice in their covered benefits, contract with providers, or communicate with consumers. From the limited details currently available, it is impossible to assess whether stakeholder feedback has been incorporated into the design of this new model. 

“We are thrilled that CMS and the Innovation Center are making efforts to increase access to care for seriously ill patients and their families,” said NHPCO President and CEO Edo Banach. “However, we are concerned that hospices and plans will not have sufficient time to assure that any model will enhance access to quality hospice care.”

To ensure the model best promotes beneficiary access to high-quality hospice care, NHPCO and the Medicare Rights Center urge CMS to release information about the policy and its operational details without delay.

NHPCO and the Medicare Rights Center are also requesting that an Ombudsman Program be established to support the model and those who will be impacted by its implementation – payers, providers, and most importantly, patients.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Survey Finds Californians Seek Support Around Serious Illness and End-of-Life Care

Nine in 10 would want as much information as possible about what to expect if they faced a serious illness.

Living with a serious illness impacts all facets of a person’s life. Results from a statewide survey released by the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) show that the vast majority of people with serious illness want the kinds of supportive services provided by palliative care, which focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of serious illness and can be provided alongside curative treatment.

Californians also express a desire for as much information as possible about what they can expect with their illness now and in the future. This sentiment poses a challenge to the current health care system, where such conversations are not the norm and the majority of people with serious illness do not receive palliative care.

Help Wanted: Californians’ Views and Experiences of Serious Illness and End-of-Life Care reports selected findings from the new survey and highlights key differences by race/ethnicity and income level. The survey is a follow-up to the foundation’s influential Final Chapter report released in 2012.

“Californians overwhelmingly want their health care provider to address the physical, emotional and practical stresses of serious illness,” said Sandra R. Hern├índez, MD, president and CEO of CHCF. “While many people do receive services, like palliative care, it tends to happen toward the end of life. These services could make a much bigger difference if they were delivered earlier.”

Monday, November 25, 2019

Education Developed for the Hospice and Palliative Care Professional

The annual webinar series offered by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization provides professionals – individuals and teams – with education to help develop professional skills and keep providers up to date on current practices in the field.

Each webinar topic and faculty are carefully curated by NHPCO Committees and Councils and incorporates feedback from the provider community.

The webinars reflect the most current and pressing needs of the hospice and palliative care field. Here are some of the 2020 topics:
  • Strategies for Engaging Referral Sources
  • Caring for Difficult Patients and Families
  • Implementing the Hospice Election Statement Addendum
  • Dashboards and Metrics to Communicate Outcomes
  • Pain Management for Patients with Addictions
The NHPCO webinar series is one of the most economical ways to offer training to professionals in the field.  Webinar packages are available and increase the savings available to professionals and organizations.

Continuing education/CME may vary by webinar but is generally available  for the following disciplines: Counselors, Nurses and Physicians (a $5 processing fee is required). To determine which credit is available for specific webinars, visit the NHPCO website and click on each webinar description. In addition, NHPCO webinars offer a Certificate of Participation for non-physician healthcare professionals, learn more about CE/CME provision.

See the full list of 2020 topics and order a package on the NHPCO Website.