Thursday, March 12, 2009

White House Health Care Forums and Hospice

For Immediate Release:
March 12, 2009

Reiterate the Value of Hospice Care by Participating in White House Regional Health Care Forums

This week, the White House launched a series of regional Health Care Forums to give Americans a chance to submit ideas and ask questions on how to improve our nation’s health care system. These forums offer Hospice Advocates an opportunity to talk about the value of hospice by either attending one of the regional forums, or by submitting questions and ideas through

The Regional White House Forums on Health Care are taking place on the following dates and locations. Please keep in mind that tickets are being made available through each state’s Governor’s Office, so policies and ticket availability will vary.
  • March 12 – Dearborn, Michigan
  • March 17 – Burlington, Vermont
  • March 23 – Des Moines, Iowa
  • March 31 – Greensboro, North Carolina
  • April 6 – Los Angeles, California

President Obama recently introduced the administration’s FY2010 budget proposal, where many health care sectors saw dramatic decreases to their funding as part of a “down payment” to pay for the massive health system overhaul. It’s important to note that Medicare funding for hospice care was not part of that group; however, reducing overall Medicare expenditures will continue to be part of this debate. That’s why it’s important for administration officials and Congress to hear from the community that hospice is part of the solution for families, and for health care reform. The end-of-life care community should rest assured knowing NHPCO is at the negotiating table on Capitol Hill caring the same important messages.

"The debate on overhauling our nation’s healthcare system has been launched in
earnest as lawmakers begin exploring options to meet President Barack Obama’s
goals of improving access and quality during tough economic times," said J.
Donald Schumacher, NHPCO president and CEO.

Should you want to submit suggestions through or attend a Regional White House Forum by contacting the hosting governor’s office, please feel free to use these suggested talking points:

  • Hospice care is part of the solution for patients and families, and as a model of cost-efficient and high-quality health care delivery.
  • Hospice is a Medicare cost saver. An independent 2007 Duke University study found that hospice reduced Medicare costs by $2,300 per patient, amounting to $2 billion in savings per year.
  • Hospice provides the high-quality care that patients and families want, with more than 98% of served families willing to recommend hospice to others.
  • Financial strain could be taken off of the health care delivery system if measures were taken to have patients access hospice earlier

The NHPCO Public Policy Team will be happy to answer any questions, contact them at

For more information visit,

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