Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Solutions to Not Only Survive, But Thrive

Leading and Managing in Tough Economic Times is a unique program designed to provide hospice CEOs and other organizational leaders with specific tools and resources to help their programs survive and thrive in the months and years to come.

Date: September 24-25, 2009
Location: Hyatt Regency Denver and Colorado Convention Center, Denver, CO

For more information visit,

Thursday, July 23, 2009

NHPCO & Alliance to Offer Health Care Reform Phone Forum Next Week

The negotiations, progress and temporary set-backs of health care reform continue, and the hospice community has never had more on the line. Will the BNAF rate cuts be addressed in the bill? Will Congress modernize the Medicare Hospice Benefit and expand access to hospice? Could access be hindered by the health overhaul? Will we suffer more cuts to help pay for reform?

Please join NHPCO President/CEO Donald Schumacher, Vice President of Public Policy Jonathan Keyserling, and members of the Alliance for Care at the End of Life lobbying team on Wednesday, July 29 at 3pm EDT for an update and responses to your questions on the timing, substance and process of what’s to come in health care reform.

Register for the Phone Forum Here

This unprecedented opportunity is being offered at no charge for NHPCO members; however, please be considerate of this generous offer by restricting your registrations to one phone line per hospice program.

Register for the Phone Forum Here

Important Information: Registration closes at noon (EDT) on Monday, July 27. Registrants will receive the call instructions on Tuesday, July 28. CEUs will not be offered for this event. Please send any questions to
We hope you will join this important discussion!

For more information visit,

Monday, July 20, 2009

More Reasons to Attend NHPCO's 10th Clinical Team Conference

The Best Content and the Best Value. Discover why NHPCO's 10th Clinical Team Conference is the best educational value for hospice and palliative care professionals of all disciplines.

The CTC is the only educational event designed to educate the entire interdisciplinary team, offering advanced, intermediate and introductory content for all clinicians.
Plenary Speakers:
  • Vyjeyanthi (VJ) Periyakoil, MD
  • Frank Ostaseski
  • Gary Gardia, MEd, LCSW, CT
  • Brad Montgomery, CSP
    Learn more about these exciting plenary speakers.

The CTC is four conferences in one. The conference features the Facility-Based Hospice Forum, Pediatric Intensive and Scientific Symposium running seamlessly within the Clinical Team Conference.

Learn more online today.

Friday, July 17, 2009

New Leadership Program to be Offered at CTC

NHPCO Announces New Professional Development Program for Hospice Leaders to be Part of the 10th Clinical Team Conference

Curriculum will Focus on Leading and Managing in Tough Economic Times

(Alexandria, Va) – With the healthcare reform debate, threats to reimbursement, increased regulatory demands and an economic downturn, hospice leaders are reeling and reaching out for guidance and practical solutions to weather this period of change and transition. In response to the needs of the hospice community, NHPCO has announced a two-day professional development intensive that will be part of its Clinical Team Conference in Denver, CO, September 24-25, 2009.

A survey conducted by NHPCO earlier this year indicates that the recent economic downturn has negatively impacted hospices across the country, with nearly 75 percent of respondents reporting an overall negative financial impact in 2008. A majority of respondents (58.4%) said they experienced a reduction in revenue in 2008. Over three-quarters of respondents (77.9%) said they had implemented reductions in spending in 2008. (Learn more about the findings from NHPCO’s economic impact survey in July’s NewsLine, pg. 6.)

Leading and Managing in Tough Economic Times is a unique program designed to provide hospice CEOs and other organizational leaders with specific tools and resources to help their programs survive and thrive in the months and years to come.

The program's education agenda runs throughout the first two days of the 10th Clinical Team Conference. Attendees of this program may attend all or some of these sessions as well as programs and events offered during the first two days of the CTC (September 24-25), including plenary and concurrent sessions, networking and conference exhibit hall events.

“In years to come if asked how you responded to these financial challenges will
you be able to say you proactively developed and executed a plan?” asked J.
Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of NHPCO. “We’ve created this intensive
specifically to address the needs and concerns we hear from provides in the

Confirmed Speakers include: Mark Murray, The Center for Hospice & Palliative Care, South Bend, IN; Charlene M. Bunts, WellStar Community Hospice, Austell, GA; Christie Franklin, Bristol Hospice, Salt Lake City; Mary Sheehan, Midwest Palliative & Hospice CareCenter, Glenview, IL; and Greg Wood, Hospice of North Central Oklahoma, Ponca City.

Registration is now open for Leading and Managing in Tough Economic Times. Visit for more information on this timely program.


Thursday, September 24, 2009
  • 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM CTC Opening Plenary
  • 10:15 AM – 11:45 AM Quick Cuts, Contingency Plans and Long-range Planning: Developing a Road Map for an Uncertain Future – Charlene and Mary
  • 11:45 AM – 1:30 PM Complimentary Box Lunch
  • Noon – 1:15 PM Discipline-Specific Networking Meetings (NCHPP)
  • 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM Creating a Culture of Belt-Tightening
  • 2:45 PM – 3:45 PM Doing More with Less? Yes, It Can Be Done
  • 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM CTC Welcome Reception and Exhibition
Friday, September 25, 2009

  • 8:15 AM – 9:30 AM General Plenary II
  • 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM Networking Break with Exhibitors
  • 10:45 AM – 11:45 AM Utilizing Financial Data to Enhance Patient Care
  • 11:45 AM – 1:15 PM Networking Lunch with Exhibitors
  • 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM Downsizing with Compassion
  • 3:15 PM – 4:15 PM Panel: Been There, Done That and Still Learning as We Go
  • 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM General Plenary III

For more information on this program, contact NHPCO member services team at 1-800-646-6460 or visit

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Google Health and Caring Connections

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s Caring Connections and Google Health Offer New Way to Access Advance Directives Online

Alexandria, VA – Ensuring that one’s healthcare wishes are known and will be honored in the event of a healthcare crisis is what advance care planning is all about. Today, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s Caring Connections, a leading provider of advance care planning information, and Google Health™ have come together to increase the availability and accessibility of advance care planning information and resources online.

Advance directives, also known as living wills and healthcare power of attorney forms, allow an individual to express their wishes if they are in a medical crisis and unable to communicate. These documents provide specific information to healthcare professionals and can help guide family caregivers called upon to make decisions on behalf of someone who is not able to speak for themselves.

“How can medical professionals honor your healthcare wishes and preferences if they don’t know what they are?” said J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of NHPCO. “Advance directives are useless unless they are available during emergency healthcare situations. Google Health will make these documents accessible online and will eliminate a huge barrier of access during times of need.”

A new feature on Google Health enables users to download a free, state-specific advance directive and store the scanned documents securely online. This will help overcome a common barrier in emergency healthcare situations, where it can be difficult to access a patient’s advance directive.

Google Health is a secure, online Personal Health Record (PHR) that allows consumers to store, organize, and share important healthcare information. Google chose to work with Caring Connections because they are the only provider that offers free, state-specific, online advance directives. In the past three years, Caring Connections has distributed more than 2.5 million advance directive forms. They also provide information to help people understand advance care planning and begin conversations with family and healthcare professionals.

The process to store an advance directive form in Google Health is easy:

  1. Go to your Google Health account at, or create a new account if you don’t have one already.

  2. Download and print the advance directive form for your state at

  3. Complete the form and sign it.

  4. Scan the signed document and upload it to your Google Health account.

By taking time to do these simple steps, you are making your healthcare wishes available to those who may need them in a time of crisis. Not only is this an important step to take for your own well-being but it’s a gift for your family members and loved ones who may need to act on your behalf.


Jon Radulovic
Ph: 703-837-3139
Caring Connections is a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. Learn more at

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Visitors to NHF Website find new features

For the first time, visitors to the National Hospice Foundation Web site will find new ways to interact with the philanthropic arm of NHPCO.

Completely redesigned and launched just last week, offers these new features, among others:
1. Clear and comprehensive information about
what your dollars support
2. A place to
“Share Your Story” and read others’ hospice stories
3. Links to NHPCO’s Twitter account and to NHF’s Facebook page
4. An easy-to-use form making
monthly giving a snap
5. A wealth of information about ensuring a legacy through
planned gifts

Come check it all out! We’d love to hear your feedback – send it directly to
Susan Messina, Director of Development Communications, NHF.

Monday, July 13, 2009

NHPCO Calls for Hospice Community to Make its Voice Heard

More Cuts to Hospice Announced: Hospice Community Responds
with Virtual Lobby Day on July 15

(Alexandria, Va) – The nation’s hospice providers are facing proposed cuts of $2.3 billion over a five-year period and $9.8 billion over a ten-year period in the preliminary estimates of the House of Representatives health reform proposal, released last week by the Congressional Budget Office.

These cuts are in addition to the cuts scheduled to go into effect on October 1 as a result of the elimination of the Budget Neutrality Adjustment Factor (BNAF), an issue the hospice community has been fighting to overturn for some time.

This new development makes the need to stop the BNAF cuts even more urgent for hospice providers. On Wednesday, July 15, NHPCO and The Alliance for Care at the End of Life are sponsoring a nationwide Virtual Lobby Day. All Hospice Advocates are called to join together to protect patient access to compassionate and high-quality end-of-life care.

If the BNAF cuts move forward on October 1, just 80 days from now, the hospice community is potentially facing a 6.4 percent reimbursement cut in federal fiscal year 2010 (October 1, 2009 - September 30, 2010).

“The situation facing the hospice community is clear: we are now facing cuts on top of cuts. When you take these proposed cuts, and place them on top of the BNAF scheduled cuts, it is simply unacceptable,” said J. Donald Schumacher, NHPCO president and CEO.

Here's how Virtual Lobby Day will work:

• On Wednesday, July 15, all Hospice Advocates registered on NHPCO’s Legislative Action Center will receive the Virtual Lobby Day information via email.

• The email with include instructions about who to contact, how to contact them, and specific talking points.

• Participants will call and write throughout the day on July 15.

People who have not previously registered on NHPCO’s Legislative Action Center can sign up now—it’s free and open to any interested individual. Go to and click the “Legislative Action Center” box.


Angie Truesdale
Ph: 703-647-5163
Jon Radulovic
Ph: 703-837-3139

For more information visit,