Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Announcing Virtual Conference 2017 Opening Plenary Speaker Joan Harrold, MD

NHPCO is proud to announce that Joan Harrold, MD, MPH, FACP, FAAHPM will be the opening plenary speaker for this summer's Virtual Conference, Aligning Practice with Evidence, coming to your organization or conference center via the Internet on July 26 - 27, 2017.

How well are the medical and clinical practices of our field aligned with scientific evidence? Do you incorporate the latest research into your practice? Why? And if not, why not?

Sometimes our “usual” approaches to patient care and symptom management become our standard because “it’s how we do things.” The urgencies of meeting patient/family needs can make it difficult to read clinical journals and attend conferences. Even when we do try to keep up with advances in the field, we may lack confidence in our abilities to analyze what we read and hear—and discern which evidence warrants change in practice and which does not.

Dr. Harrold's presentation, "Building a Foundation: Aligning Practice with Evidence," will kick of the two day event that is hosted by NHPCO, AAHPM and HPNA.

Dr. Harrold is the Medical Director and CMO/Vice President of Medical Services of Hospice and Community Care in Lancaster and York, PA.  She has more than two decades of experience in hospice and palliative care.  Prior to becoming certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine, she received her medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia; completed an internal medicine residency at Bowman Grey; and completed a Master of Public Health degree with special emphasis in epidemiology and biostatistics at The George Washington University.

Dr. Harrold serves on the Board of Directors of NHPCO and previously served as a director on the boards of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Foundation, the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine , the American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and the Pennsylvania Hospice Network.  Dr. Harrold is the chair of the Professional Education Committee and serves on its various subcommittees. 

Joan Harrold, MD, MPH, FACP, FAAHPM
The 2017 Virtual Conference is one of the best, most convenient ways to bring high quality education to your team without having to leave the office. Brought to you by three leading organizations in the field.  

Act now and register today to lock in the early bird rate! 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Rallying to Encourage and Empower Us All to Make Our Healthcare Decisions Now Because... It Always Seems Too Early, Until It’s Too Late

In honor of National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), April 16, we share this blog as part of national efforts to raise awareness of this issue.  

College education.  Career path.  Relationships.  Starting a family.  Buying or selling a house. Vacations. Retirement. From the age that we’re old enough to understand, most of us are taught and accept that these are the markers in life that we plan for.  However, there’s one key marker that’s all-too-often missing from this list: advance care planning.  Like planning for these other life events, planning for the time (or times) that we are unable to express our healthcare wishes is of the utmost importance. It is something that should be well thought-out, documented and revisited at different points in life to reflect any change in our desires or family situation or the person we wish to advocate for us. 

Unfortunately, it is a planning point that that majority of us have missed.  In fact, only about 25% of adults have an advance care plan.  As a consequence patients’ families suffer the added burden of having to guess when a health crisis happens. That’s why National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) was founded 10 years ago and why this nationwide advance care planning awareness initiative is as important as ever. So this year, I’ve joined my fellow bloggers throughout the country to spread the word about the importance of advance care planning with this special NHDD edition blog.

NHDD, which happens every April 16—and is a week-long event this year—is a collaborative effort of thousands of national, state, and community organizations as well as dedicated individual advocates committed to ensuring that adult Americans–like you and me—have the information and opportunity to communicate and document their healthcare decisions.

If you haven’t had the talk already, check out the awesome three and a half minute “Imagine” video on the NHDD homepage: It’s proof that it takes only a few minutes to start a conversation with your loved ones about advance care planning—a conversation that affects people for a lifetime.  

After the goosebumps settle down from watching the video, here are some specific things you can do for NHDD:
  • Lead by example.  Schedule time with your loved ones (on or before the week of April 16) to “Have the Talk” and complete your own advance directive. There are many tools, including free forms, you can use to walk you through the process and make your wishes known; access them through the NHDD Public Resources page or visit the NHPCO website for information. 
  • Encourage your loved ones and friends to learn more about advance directives and to complete their advance directives. You can forward this link:
  • TAKE THE DARE!  I DARE YOU to have the talk about advance care planning and dare others as well!  When you do, share it on whatever outlet you prefer and use #healthtalkdare (and #NHDD) wherever possible.  If you don’t accept my dare, you should make a donation to NHDD  And, while my dare is about inspiring action, you get bonus points if you accept the dare AND make a donation!  (Note: you don’t have to share the specific contents of your talk—that’s your business—just share the fact that you did it.) 
  • Share your advance directive with your healthcare providers and make sure it is on file in the event it is needed. 
Already had the conversation with your loved ones, but want to do more?  Here a few suggestions to rally support for NHDD and encourage even more action:
  • Like the NHDD Facebook fan page and share it with your Facebook friends.
  •  On Twitter? Follow @NHDD and share the information with your followers, i.e. ‘Just 5 days to #NHDD, when will you #havethetalk? @NHDD can help’ OR Share the Dare!  #healthtalkdare. 
  • Send an email to your friends, staff, colleagues, lodge/social club members, and/or house of worship, telling them that you are participating in NHDD and encouraging them to do the same.  
Please use and share the resources available through the NHDD website and encourage and empower us all to make our healthcare decisions now because … It Always Seems Too Early, Until It’s Too Late! 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Upcoming Webinar on Trauma-Informed End-of-Life Care

NHPCO is offering a Webinar on Thursday, May 11, 2017 from 2:00pm - 3:00pm ET that will explore the ways that past experiences with psychological trauma impact the end of life and how hospice and palliative care professional can help.

Over the course of a lifetime, most Americans will experience at least one psychologically traumatic event. Though most will not develop PTSD, a significant percentage will. Others may be impacted in less obvious ways which can affect one’s sense of self, safety or ability to trust. The diagnosis of a terminal illness can quickly activate or intensify underlying traumatic wounds, heighten defenses or layer new traumas associated with things like medical care or loss of control on top of those which already exist. Identifying those patients whose care and quality of life are being compromised by such concerns is essential. 

Led by Scott Janssen, MA, MSW, LCSW, of Hospice and Palliative Care Center of Alamance-Caswell, this Webinar will explore the origins of PTSD and subclinical PTSD, its potential impact on trauma survivors, the ways illness can complicate effective coping, relational harmony and care at end of life, and how hospice and palliative care professionals can help.  

CE/CME credit is available.

To see the learning objectives and to register for "Trauma-Informed End-of-Life Care," visit the NHPCO website.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Venturing Beyond the Reef

At first blush, the new Disney movie, Moana, has nothing to do with hospice. Yet as I was watching the movie a second time with my 6 year old daughter and 8 year old son, while simultaneously thinking about my new job (multi-tasking is a part of life for a CEO/Dad), the clear parallels came into view. In Moana, a once ocean-going Polynesian island-nation has settled into a life full of abundant sunshine, unlimited coconuts, and plenty of fish. Once a nation of brave sea-farers, the community had come to fear the ocean and the risks it holds, preferring instead the safety and security of their island. Moana, the chief’s daughter and heir apparent, feels compelled to venture into the sea, beyond the reef that separates the island nation from the rest of the world.  One day, the fish are gone and the coconuts dry up. Against her father’s wishes, Moana ventures out to save her nation.

What does any of this have to do with hospice? Well, as I see it we are a community that once looked out, conquering and creating new models. On the 50th Anniversary of Dame Cicely Saunders’ founding of St. Christopher’s Hospice, and in in the 35th year of the Medicare Hospice Benefit, we must recognize how far we’ve come and how courageous and brave we’ve been. I applaud all who helped hospice thrive and grow to where it is today. But like Moana’s island, we’ve grown accustomed to what the hospice island has given us, comfortable with the model and perhaps reluctant to venture beyond the hospice reef. I think that we all know that the healthcare world is changing, as it always has, and that we need to innovate and adapt.

I want to emphasize that innovation here is not about reinventing the wheel, forgetting the past and creating new and better ideas. There’s some of that for sure, but it turns out that we have the people and the tools to do amazing things. We’ve done it before, when we had far fewer people and far fewer tools. Think of what we can do if we bring it all together.

After a few failed attempts with a little boat, Moana is given permission to use the mothballed boats of her ancestors. These boats help her get beyond the reef. Like Moana, we need to venture outside of our island, beyond the reef. Like Moana, we might get tossed into the ocean or hit by a big wave from time to time. But if we use the tools that got us to where we are – a spirit and determination that there is a better way to care for seriously and terminally ill patients – we will be able to expand our reach to provide care, earlier and BE a fully integrated model. We need to give ourselves permission to be a little uncomfortable, to venture beyond our reef and move toward a brighter and sustained future.

If we do this right, we will ensure that hospice won’t be an island, but will instead be a much larger and more integrated part of the world. In fact, our future rests upon this notion. Most importantly, the health care needs of our patients depend on it.

By Edo Banach, JD
President and CEO

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

It’s All About Getting the Care You Want

To twist a familiar expression attributed to Benjamin Franklin: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except ‘life’ and taxes.” I only wish people would put as much effort into planning for their future healthcare needs as they do on their annual tax returns. As we near tax day, I hope that we can all pause to consider or re-consider our health care wishes.   

Advance care planning is not about the end…it’s about having heart to heart conversations with our loved ones, talking about our values, priorities and wishes.  It’s about documenting those wishes in an advance directive and sharing that with friends, family and healthcare providers so that we will get the care we want should we not be able to speak for ourselves. It’s about giving a gift to our loved ones who will know what’s important to us long before we ever face a serious illness or medical emergency.

All forms of advance directives – which can include a living will, healthcare proxy or health care power of attorney, or even a POLST or MOLST form from our physician – are tools one can use to make healthcare preferences known and help ensure we get the care we want.

These conversations and an advance directive do not have to be done in a lawyer’s office, but can take place around the kitchen table or in the family room, during calm times, not in the midst of a healthcare crisis. 

A recent bipartisan report from The Aspen Institute Health Strategy Group, “Improving Care at the End of Life,” offers five big ideas to improve care during this challenging time and will help take away some of the fear about having these important conversations. I support the five ideas, particularly the concept of “building the development and updating of an advance care plan into the fabric of life.”   This includes the integration of advance directives and planning tools into smart phones, and utilizing employee on-boarding and insurance sign-up periods to provide advance planning tools and allow individuals to execute an advance directive. 
I would like these conversations to be part of a person’s annual physical or a natural step when applying for insurance or starting a new job. Even a birthday or annual event like Thanksgiving can be a time to talk and make these conversations part of our family routine. And, yes, even the tax season can be a good time to have conversations about our health care wishes.                

Like taxes, these conversations can be difficult to begin but once we have, we’ve already gotten over the biggest hurdle. 

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization offers a range of materials to help people understand advance care planning and begin the discussion, all available free of charge at This includes state-specific advance directive forms.

By Edo Banach, JD
President and CEO


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

MedPAC Releases March Report to Congress

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission released its annual  March report to Congress on Wednesday, March 15, 2017.

The hospice chapter begins with an updated snapshot of the hospice industry. According to MedPAC, 1.38 million Medicare beneficiaries (or almost 49% of Medicare decedents) received hospice care in 2015 from 4,200 hospice providers. In that year, Medicare spent $15.9 billion on hospice care, up from $15.1 billion in 2014. However, Medicare spending on hospice care constituted less than 3% of overall Medicare spending.

In the report, the Commission recommends that “Congress should eliminate the update to the hospice payment rates for fiscal year 2018,” which is consistent with previous MedPAC recommendations.

It is important to remember that Congress must take action for a MedPAC recommendation to be implemented, which it has not done in recent years.

Learn more about the hospice chapter from the  Hospice Action Network blog.

Listen to NHPCO's Podcast, Episode #12 to here more about the report's focus on live discharge.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

SMRC Audit on GIP Claims

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has contracted with StrategicHealthSolutions, LLC as a Supplemental Medical Review Contractor (SMRC) for a review of patient GIP stays. (NHPCO members will find a Regulatory Alert offering further information on this GIP claims audit.)

Many hospice providers have asked for clarification about the role of the Supplemental Medical Review Contractor. What follows is some basic information about SMRC.

As the Supplemental Medical Review Contractor (SMRC), StrategicHealthSolutions, LLC has been contracted by CMS Center for Program Integrity to perform and/or provide support for a variety of tasks aimed at lowering the improper payment rates and increasing efficiencies of the medical review functions of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. One of their primary tasks will be conducting nationwide medical review as directed by CMS. The medical review will be performed on Part A, Part B, and DME providers and suppliers to determine whether Medicare claims were billed in compliance with coverage, coding, payment and billing practices. 

The selection of topics and time frames to be reviewed is determined by and at the direction of CMS. The focus of the projects may include, but are not limited to issues identified by Federal agencies, such as the Office of Inspector General (OIG), Government Accountability Office (GAO), CMS internal data analysis, the Comprehensive Error Rate Testing (CERT) program, professional organizations and First-Look Analysis Tool for Hospital Outlier Monitoring (FATHOM) report and Program for Evaluating Payment Patterns Electronic Report (PEPPER). The SMRC is conducting medical review based on the analysis of national claims data versus data that is limited to a specific jurisdiction as performed by Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs). Unlike the MACs, the SMRC does not perform claim payment functions.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Message from Edo Banach

I’ve completed my first official week as President and CEO at NHPCO.  I am honored to lead the organization at this important time of change, and look forward to working together. 

Over the next several weeks and months, I will be learning more about your needs and the ways we can best serve you in the important work you do in your communities every single day.  I look forward to telling your stories to consumers, caregivers and policy-makers and expanding awareness of your dedication and skill. Together, we will build on the strong foundation of hospice and palliative care to grow innovative and compassionate care programs that will serve all in need. 

As I begin my tenure working with you and for you at NHPCO, National Hospice Foundation, and the Hospice Action Network, it seems fitting to reflect on the guiding values of this organization:
  • Service… engaging with you, our members and constituents, is at the heart of all that we do.
  • Respect and Collaboration… valuing the expertise, skills and contributions from the field and fostering partnerships and relationships with all our stakeholders is vital to future success.  
  • Excellence… exceeding the expectations of our members and embracing change and innovation will allow us to continually improve and grow in a manner that will allow us to embrace opportunities.  
  • Stewardship… managing resources with the highest ethical and fiscal standards will ensure accountability of your investment within NHPCO and foster integrity throughout our organization.
Please know that I take these values seriously and they will serve me and the entire team as we work together towards the bright future I see ahead of us all. A future that will not be without challenges, certainly, but I know that we can meet these challenges together as we strive to provide the highest quality care for those in need of our services and care.

I’ve been fortunate to meet a number of NHPCO members during my first week and I know this will continue.  I look forward to meeting you at our upcoming Management and Leadership Conference on May 1 – 3, 2017 at the Washington Hilton. If you have not already registered, I hope you’ll consider joining us. This will be a great opportunity to get to know each other better.

I look forward to our work together.

Edo Banach, JD
President and CEO


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

“Culture” + “Curiosity” = Culturosity®

A Desire to Learn about and Interact with Different Cultures

There are populations who do not benefit from equitable access to quality end‐of‐life care because of a history of healthcare disparities. Culturosity: Competence inTransitioning End‐of‐Life Care for Underserved Populations from Disparity toEquity is a special preconference seminar addressing this topic that is being offered on Sunday, April 30, 2017, the day before the 2017 Management and Leadership Conference officially begins. 

This daylong workshop will provide participants the opportunity to work through the cultural and systemic issues, and the inherent biases that exist for underserved and LGBT communities and communities of color. Using small group sessions, role play and other cutting‐edge interactive techniques, participants will acquire the knowledge and skills to help themselves and their programs develop care that brings equity out of disparity.

A look at NHPCO’s current edition of “Facts and Figures: Hospice Care in America” provides a snapshot of patient race and ethnicity of hospice patients for 2014. While the African American population accounts for over 12% of the overall U.S. population, only 7.6% of those entering hospice programs across the country were African American – and it should be noted that this percentage has dropped in recent years. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin account for 7% of hospice patients and Asians or other Pacific Islanders account for 3%  (this represents a slight increase in reaching these populations); multiracial individuals account for 13%. 

The provider community has made strides to increase under-utilization of hospice and palliative care by minority communities but much remains to be done as the minority populations in the U.S. are projected to increase in the years ahead. 

This seminar, Culturosity, will help providers understand many of the issues involved in disparities and access. Online registration for the Management and Leadership Conference and the preconference seminars is open through March 27, 2017. Register today!


Friday, February 17, 2017

Call for Sessions Proposals Open for Interdisciplinary Conference

Become part of the esteemed faculty for NHPCO’s Interdisciplinary Conference, Strengthen Your Organization: Care, Compliance, Quality, to be held from September 18 – 20, 2017 at the San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina, San Diego, California. 

The Call for Presentation Proposals is open and proposals are being sought for intermediate to advanced learning level sessions in one of six key areas:
  • Interdisciplinary Leadership: Developing, leading teams and ensuring their optimal functioning 
  • Medical Care: Emergent clinical topics to attract physicians and nurses
  • Supportive Care: Emergent topics in psychosocial, spiritual and bereavement care
  • Regulatory: Latest news on compliance implementation provided by selected faculty
  • Quality: Emergent topics provided by selected faculty
  • Community-based Palliative Care: Featuring model programs/practices and practical “how to" topics
The Call for Proposals is open through Sunday, March 12, 2017; don’t delay. Hospice and palliative care professionals with ideas for a session falling into the six key areas are encouraged to submit a proposal.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Application Cycle for HMDCB Exam Now Open

The application cycle for the 2017 Hospice Medical Director Certification Board (HMDCB) exam is now open through March 21, 2017. Nearly 650 individuals from across the country have already been certified in the organization’s first three exam cycles.

So why is physician certification important? According to Suzanne Karefa-Johnson, MD HMDC, a Physician at Hospice of the Comforter in Altamonte Springs, FL, "The HMDCB certification program is an important avenue to establishing one's expertise in the administrative and clinical skillset demanded of a hospice medical director. It helps to affirm the importance of physicians providing end-of-life care within the larger palliative and medical continuum of care."

In addition, initial physician certification and the continuing education required to maintain certification contribute to the creation of an environment of professionalism and a culture of retention — a critical issue for hospices today. Certification is also a vehicle for hospices to differentiate themselves from competitors and demonstrate to consumers that they have attracted the most skilled and experienced healthcare professionals.

By visiting HMDCB’s Physician and CEO pages on its website, you can learn more about the benefits of applying and watch two videos featuring hospice colleagues who share why the certification is valuable. 

The early bird application deadline for the Hospice Medical Director Certification Board’s 2017 exam is Tuesday, February 28. Applicants who complete their application before the deadline save $250! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Medicare Advantage and Hospice

Guest Blog
by Jay Cushman, HealthPivots

The State Hospice Profile™, available from NHPCO, summarizes the use of hospice services by Medicare beneficiaries since 2000.  This chart of the Hospice Penetration Rate, from the National Profile page, shows that enrollees in Medicare HMO plans use hospice at a much higher rate than average.

In 2015, the Penetration Rate for Medicare HMO enrollees was 82% compared to 68% for all Medicare beneficiaries.  In the State Hospice Profile™, Penetration Rate is defined as the ratio of Medicare Hospice Patients Served to Total Medicare Deaths.  The source for these data is the Medicare claims standard analytic files that contain information on beneficiary demographics, deaths, and hospice use. 

Medicare began paying for services for enrollees in 1966, and hospice services were included in the Medicare benefit package in 1983.  In 1997, private insurance plans were included in the Medicare program.   These plans are now collectively called Medicare Advantage as distinguished from Original Medicare which is also called Fee-for-Service (FFS) Medicare.   Medicare Advantage plans are also sometimes called Medicare HMO plans.  Medicare Advantage plans must cover all the services that Original Medicare covers, except hospice care.  If a Medicare Advantage enrollee elects hospice, payments for both hospice and other services are made by Original Medicare.  

However, in 2014, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) recommended that Congress should include the Medicare hospice benefit in the Medicare Advantage benefits package.

This change, if implemented, would affect a significant and growing portion of the Medicare enrollees who now choose hospice care.

Since 2004, practically all the growth in Medicare beneficiaries and Medicare deaths has been captured by the growth in Medicare Advantage plans.

Another measure of hospice use is the Death Service Ratio, defined as the ratio between Medicare Hospice Deaths and Total Medicare Deaths. This ratio for Medicare Advantage has significantly exceeded the ratio for Original Medicare.

 This gap is all the more remarkable because Medicare Advantage enrollees are, on average, younger than Original Medicare enrollees.  The use of hospice tends to increase with age even among Medicare beneficiaries.  

Nationally, about one-third of all Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans in 2015.  This is more than double the percentage in 2004.

However, in some states the Medicare Advantage enrollment is much higher than average.  In Minnesota, for example, over half of all beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare Advantage.

These are the facts.  The implication is that any disruption in a hospice’s relationship with its Medicare Advantage patients will have a significant impact on that hospice’s business.

© Health Planning & Development, LLC 2017

The State Hospice Profilefor each state is available for purchase from NHPCO's Marketplace.

Disclaimer: Any views or opinions represented by guest authors on the NHPCO blog belong solely to the author and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of NHPCO.

Friday, February 3, 2017

#MLC17 Adds a Focus on Fund Development

An aging population and a rekindled healthcare financing debate promise continued uncertainty and challenges for the hospice sector. Greater demands for our services, and shifting reimbursement will further amplify the need for revenue diversification and enhancement. Increasingly, not-for-profit hospices are recognizing the necessity of a strong development program – augmenting such traditional activities as memorial gifts, direct mail, and special events; with best practices in leadership engagement and major gifts – all in an effort to grow critical and potentially significant gift income.

Effective fundraising requires planning and investment, and begins with leadership. Understanding and leveraging the unique roles of administrators, board members, staff, and volunteers is a prerequisite for success. Incorporating development objectives in a broader strategic plan calls for vision and advocacy.

For the first time ever, this year’s Management and Leadership Conference will feature a number of educational offerings devoted entirely to fund development. Members of the C-Suite – particularly chief executives, financial officers, and development officers – will all benefit from these sessions. Our faculty of practitioners and consultants from high-performing organizations will present on a wide range of important topics, informing and empowering our attendees to more confidently champion and advance their charitable mission.

Join us!

T. Christian “Chris” Rollins, MBA, CFRE
Chief Development Officer
Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice, Marlton NJ

MLC 2017

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Prepare for National Healthcare Decisions Day 2017

National Healthcare Decisions Day exists to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. For 2017, NHDD will be a week long event, from April 16 to 22. The overall theme for 2017 is "It always seems too early, until it's too late."

In all respects, NHDD is inclusive and brings a variety of players in the larger healthcare/legal/religious community together to work on a common project, to the benefit of patients, families, and providers. NHDD is not prescriptive; it allows for and fosters creativity. A key goal of NHDD is to demystify healthcare decision-making and make the topic of advance care planning inescapable.

Outreach Webinar
Join the outreach team on February 15, 2017 at 3:00 pm EST for a National Healthcare Decisions Day Webinar. This April NHDD supporters look forward to celebrating 10 years of promoting advance care planning conversations across the country. To RSVP for the webinar and access connection instructions, e-mail  


Friday, January 27, 2017

Hospice Advocacy in 2017

With the Presidential and Congressional elections now behind us and the new administration beginning to get to work, hospice and palliative care leaders must renew their focus on Capitol Hill and educate new and returning policymakers about end-of-life issues. The Hospice Action Network will host two important events on Capitol Hill in 2017, and we need the support and participation of all hospice advocates.

May 3, 2017
NHPCO’s Management and Leadership Conference: Advocacy at MLC – Washington Hilton

NHPCO will host Advocacy at MLC for conference participants on Wednesday, May 3. In the morning, MLC conference attendees will be briefed about the 115th Congress; the new administration; the changing health policy landscape; and NHPCO efforts to preserve, protect, and promote hospice and palliative care. In partnership with the Council of States, participants will take to Capitol Hill that afternoon to advocate in support of NHPCO’s legislative agenda. Register now at

July 17-18, 2017
Hospice Action Network Advocacy Intensive – Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill

Advocacy is not a once-a-year event and it’s important to reinforce our message throughout the year. Hospice and palliative care organizations are encouraged to send members of the IDT to the premier advocacy event for the hospice and palliative care community. Held annually in Washington, DC, the Advocacy Intensive brings together hospice and palliative care professionals, caregivers, leaders, policymakers, and Members of Congress to effect positive change for end-of-life issues. During the two-day event, attendees learn best practices for advocating for hospice and how to connect directly with their members of Congress on Capitol Hill and back in their home districts. Registration will open in Spring 2017.

Be a part of the hospice community's strategic advocacy efforts in 2017.

Attendees at a previous Advocacy Intensive on Capitol Hill.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

NHPCO’s New President and CEO

NHPCO announced today that its board of directors has selected Edo Banach, JD, as the organization's next president and chief executive officer, effective February 22, 2017.  Banach will succeed J. Donald Schumacher, PsyD, who has led the organization since 2002.

Banach, currently, is a partner in the firm of Gallagher, Evelius & Jones in Baltimore, MD.  He previously was the Deputy Director of the Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Associate General Counsel at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.  Prior to that, Banach was the General Counsel at the Medicare Rights Center.

Banach holds a B.A. from Binghamton University and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Prior to attending law school Banach worked for the New York City Department of Homeless Services and Mayor's Office of Operations.

Edo Banach
“With the aging of the Baby-Boomers, our nation is experiencing an increase in the need for hospice and palliative care services. What began fifty years ago as a grassroots movement to better care for the dying is now an integral part of the U.S. healthcare landscape and the expansion of community-based palliative care services provides further opportunities to ensure we are providing the best possible care for those facing serious and life-limiting illness,” said Banach.
“Hospice in the 21st Century must combine the core hospice philosophy with a laser-like focus on quality and access to care.  Hospice and palliative care must always be focused on patient and caregiver needs, and must be compliant with all federal and state laws and rules. I am honored to join NHPCO at this important time, and look forward to working with NHPCO and its partners on building a better, fairer and more accessible healthcare system,” Banach remarked.

The selection of Banach as NHPCO’s new president and CEO caps a thorough and year-long search process utilizing a nationally recognized recruitment firm. See the full NHPCO press release.