Thursday, June 30, 2011

NHPCO Draws Providers’ Attention to Article in New York Times

NHPCO members may have seen the article from Kaiser Health News that was posted on the New York Times website yesterday and appears in print in the Health & Science section today, "Concerns about costs rise with hospices' use."

NHPCO wanted to let members know that President/CEO Don Schumacher wrote a letter to the editor reminding the NY Times that growth in hospice over the past decade reflects our caring more compassionately for the dying in this country. He also made the point that NHPCO has been calling for more federal oversight of hospice for many years.

The NY Times blog page, New Old Age, welcomes comments from readers. Please feel free to share any thoughts you might have through the comment section of the New Old Age blog. An insightful comment was posted on the New Old Age blog that NHPCO would like to draw provider's attention to. An individual wrote: "I'm so thankful that this article was published, because we weren't aware that hospice care was available for end stage Alzheimers. We want to do everything we can to honor my mother's wish that she die in her own home, but if things become impossible,,,well it gives me great comfort to know there is another option."

To many of us, so close to issues that involve the field, it can be easy to forget that many members of the public are concerned about issues as they affect them in a personal way. Even challenging news articles can provide valuable information about hospice that is important to the public.

In addition to Don's letter to the editor, we are submitting an op-ed to the NY Times that we hope will get serious consideration.

Additionally, the Public Policy team has put together some specific talking points they are sharing with legislators and their staffs on Capitol Hill who may have concern or confusion resulting from this article.

We wanted to assure members that NHPCO has been actively responding following the release of this article.

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