Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Summer Listening Tour: Notes from the Road, #2

Chicago - Austin - Kansas City...

As spring winds down and summer heats up, we find ourselves moving through Chicago, Austin and Kansas City in June. 

Red meat is definitely on the menu. As a barbecue aficionado, these listening tour stops gave me the added bonus of sharing Texas-style and Kansas City-style barbecue—and we enjoyed a barbecue-inspired Chicago pizza while in the Windy City (there’s nothing like a gastronomic theme to increase the fun of time on the road). As other barbecue fans will certainly understand, the style of barbecue from one geographic region of this great country to another reveals many differences that reflect the locale and population, while there are some traits that connect them all.  And we are finding that although there are regional differences among hospices, there are many more areas of common interest and concern. 

We enjoyed barbecue in Austin and Kansas City (and pizza in Chicago)
Above all, hospices are certainly concerned about the heart and soul of hospice—and that begins with training, recruitment and retention of professionals.  We are an industry of interdisciplinary care giving that relies quite heavily on trained and motivated personnel.  It is an important reminder in the day and age of smartphones and tablets that the heart of hospice needs to be tended to, cared for, nurtured, educated, disseminated, and never forgotten.  We will not take this for granted as we consider the future of hospice and palliative care.  


Our Chicago Session kicked off our tour in the mid and south-west.
We have also seen the importance of real patient and caregiver stories. Patients and caregivers have unique needs, but they are not necessarily unique by geography.  Each region has a mix of rural, urban, high and low- income.  We must remain united and focused on improving the hospice and palliative care benefits for all, and listening to our state partners and members has reaffirmed my belief that we have so much more in common than we realize. 

In the coming months, we will renew our focus on frontline professionals, and we will also continue to focus on the real lives and real stories of our patients.  Patients, providers and caregivers ARE the hospice benefit. United, we can make a real impact in the care that more and more Americans deserve to receive.  



L: Larry Farrow of Texas & New Mexico Hospice and Palliative Care Organization greets Edo in Austin. R: Board members of Nebraska Hospice and Palliative Care Association joined Edo in Kansas City.
Beginning in July, the listening tour moves on to the mid-Atlantic and New England areas.  The cuisine may be different, but I suspect that we’ll reinforce these messages as we go on, as well as garner more valuable insight from the field. I encourage you to join us for one of our upcoming sessions. Learn more and RSVP online
 

As we near July 4, I'm optimistic about our future and know that no matter what obstacles we face we will always be stronger together. No matter where we live and work it is clear we need to stay united and remain focused on what matters most -- the care of the patients and families we serve.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Call for Nominations: Circle of Life Award


Nominations are being sought for the 2018 Circle of Life Award, which shines a light on U.S. programs and organizations that serve as models or inspiration for other end-of-life care providers.

The Circle of Life Award honors innovative U.S. palliative and end-of-life care programs in hospices, hospitals, health care systems, long-term care facilities, and other direct care providers.

Make sure your program gets the national recognition it deserves. The Circle of Life Awards will give top honors in 2018 to up to three programs or organizations.
Visit the AHA YouTube page to hear from past honorees who talk about their innovations and the value of winning the award to their organizations.

"In speaking with hospice providers, I frequently hear many of them say ‘I don’t think we’re ready yet to submit a nomination'…But I can attest that many of these organizations do have programs that are worth nominating for The Circle of Life Award," said John Mastrojohn, NHPCO senior vice president and COO.

“In fact, many hospice providers have found that the thorough process of submitting a nomination has led to unexpected sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. So I encourage hospices to look into nominating their worthwhile programs.”

The Circle of Life Award is administered by the American Hospital Association. The 2017 awards, which will be presented at the AHA annual conference in July, are supported, in part, by the California Health Care Foundation, based in Oakland, California and Cambia Health Foundation, based in Portland, Oregon. Major sponsors of the 2017 awards are the American Hospital Association, the Catholic Health Association, and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization & National Hospice Foundation. The awards are cosponsored by The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, the Center to Advance Palliative Care, the Hospice & Palliative Nurses Association/the Hospice & Palliative Credentialing Center/the Hospice & Palliative Nurses Foundation, and the National Association of Social Workers.

The Circle of Life Award is administered by the Health Research & Educational Trust.

Monday, June 12, 2017

NHPCO Summer Listening Tour: Notes from the Road

First stop...Las Vegas!

Las Vegas seemed like an unlikely place to be thinking and talking about hospice and palliative care. However, last week, about twenty hospice providers sat in a classroom at a Roseman University auditorium to discuss the present and future of hospice and palliative care in Nevada. Not far from the glitz of The Strip, and concurrent with the World Series of Poker, we discussed the joys and challenges of providing serious illness and end-of-life care in Nevada. Different providers—large and small, for-profit and nonprofit—shared openly. We were also honored to be joined by Sue Negreen of the California Hospice and Palliative Care Association.  
Pictured on their way to Roseman Univ auditorium are NHPCO CEO and President Edo Banach, Director of Marketing Kendra Schilling, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer John Mastrojohn, and Infinity Hospice Care Vice President Brian Bertram at the wheel.
This was a vivid reminder that no matter the geography or tax-status, hospice touches lives of real people in all places. It touches folks from the right and left, the mountains, and the city. We must cherish, protect and grow the benefit to reach more folks with the unique person-centered, interdisciplinary care model that is the hallmark of hospice and palliative care.  

We spoke about the fact that we are facing more challenges today than in the past. Being a hospice provider is far more complex than it was four decades ago. Oversight, scrutiny and increasing compliance demands are only a few of these things that concern us all. We’re all facing ongoing change. That said, we should never forget that with change comes a valuable opportunity for us to innovate and continually examine what we do, how we do it, and what the needs are of those we serve.  


I want to be clear about the fact that innovation is not about recreating the wheel. We have the tools we need—that bottled passion and compassion, and four decades of experience meeting the needs of patients and families. The work that all of us are doing, ultimately, is about the people we serve, and the passion for them is what keeps us united and moving forward in our shared mission. I’m so pleased to see that passion firsthand.

The first stop on Edo’s Listening Tour – Las Vegas.

While in Las Vegas, we also had the opportunity to visit with two engaged NHPCO members. Both are providing excellent, thoughtful care to patients and their families. Little touches like a painted window at one site make all the difference in a patient’s last days.  The people providing care at both programs—clearly passionate about their difficult work—make the biggest difference of all. 

During one visit, we watched a chef at an inpatient center lovingly prepare lunch for her residents, who she looked in after earlier in the day to make sure that she was making them something they would want and enjoy. Now, that is patient-centered care. 
Edo views a memorial sidewalk at an inpatient facility in Las Vegas.
We had the opportunity to meet with one of the provider site’s senior leadership team. We learned about their robust palliative care program and their commitment to high-quality, innovative hospice care. 
The NHPCO team meets with the senior leadership team at a Las Vegas area hospice and palliative care provider.
They say that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. I can assure you that what we learned in Vegas will not stay there; that we continue to learn from our friends and members, and grow as an association that is attuned to the needs of those who we serve and their patients. Thank you, Las Vegas.  On to Chicago and Austin. 

There’s still time to register to attend one of the free Summer Listen Tour sessions.
 

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Join Edo Banach for the Summer Listening Tour


The Summer Listening Tour is your opportunity to share your input and expertise to help shape NHPCO’s direction for the future. President and CEO, Edo Banach will be traveling across the country this summer to meet and hear from hospice and palliative care providers.

Large or small, urban or rural, member or non-member, all leaders need to come together at this critical time for the future of hospice and palliative care. Don’t miss your opportunity to be part of the conversation.

This two way dialogue will ensure your concerns regarding the community are heard and discussed. Your input will help shape our message to regulators and lawmakers.

Come to the city nearest you for this exclusive event, free of charge. The Listen Session will be held from 2:00pm to 4:00pm in the local time zone for each city on the dates listed below. Upcoming cities and dates:

•    Chicago, IL - June 13
•    Austin, TX - June 14
•    Kansas City, MO - June 19
•    New York City, NY - July 12
•    Alexandria, VA - July 13
•    Atlanta, GA - July 24
•    Denver, CO - TBD
•    Boston, MA - TBD

Your input will be critically important for determining future direction.  REGISTER TODAY!


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Hospice Quality Reporting Program: Provider Preview Reports

30 day countdown to request corrections has begun!
The Hospice Provider Preview Reports with the quality measure results that will be used in public reporting on the Hospice Compare website are available now. The 30 day window for review of the results for accuracy and submission of a formal request to CMS for review and correction began on June 1, 2017.  

Hospice Provider Preview Reports:
The Hospice Provider Preview Report is an important last step in the hospice public reporting process prior to the release of data on Hospice Compare in the summer of 2017.  The results included in the report are limited to quality measures based on HIS data submitted for Quarter 4- 2015 to Quarter 3-2016. Results for quality measures based on Hospice CAHPS data will be available prior to inclusion in Hospice Compare in 2018.


The data used in the Provider Preview Reports are currently “frozen” but hospices may continue to submit corrections and additions to their HIS data for up to 36 months beyond the target date on a given assessment. Changes in submitted data will be reflected in subsequent quarterly Provider Preview Reports and refreshes of Hospice Compare.

Access to the Preview Reports: 
The Provider Preview Reports are available in the Certification and Survey Provider Enhanced Reports (CASPER) system. Instructions for accessing the reports are posted on the Hospice Quality Public Reporting page of the HQRP website. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select “Hospice Provider Preview Report Access Instructions” from the available downloads.  


If a hospice identifies inaccuracies in its Provider Preview report a formal request for review should be submitted to CMS.   


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Be the Voice of Your Patients and Families on Capitol Hill

The 2017 Hospice Action Network Advocacy Intensive is your best opportunity for the hospice community to speak with one voice with the policy makers who craft legislation that impacts the hospice and palliative care community. On July 17, we will prepare you with the skills and information you will need to educate new and returning Members of Congress about the priorities of the hospice community.

Here’s a sneak peek at some of the offerings we’re planning: 

State of Play on Capitol Hill
Participate in a discussion with bipartisan panel of lobbying experts on what is going on here in Washington. We’ll walk you through what Congress is working (or not working) on while you’re here, and what’s likely to be on the mind of your Member of Congress or their staff when you meet with them on July 18.

How to Speak “Congress”
Ever wonder what makes the other political party tick? In this session, learn how to tailor your message to effectively communicate to Republicans and Democrats. Whether your Members of Congress are “fiscal conservatives” or “progressive liberal,” you will come away from this session able to speak to their concerns, regardless of political party, to garner support for our asks. 

From Constituent to Influencer – Cultivating Strong, Meaningful Relationships with Elected Officials
Advocacy is not a once-a-year event. If you want to be more than a constituent in a crowd and if you want to have real influence with elected officials, you have to build a culture of advocacy that permeates your entire organization. During this session, faculty will discuss time-tested approaches to building strong, beneficial relationships with elected officials. Hear real-world examples from hospices that have built and sustained relationships with elected officials through site-visits, We Honor Veterans ceremonies, employee and volunteer engagement, social media campaigns, and more.

The Advocacy Intensive is free for NHPCO members. Registration is $350 for non-members.

But it’s not all work. We do let you have a little fun. Questions? Email us!