Monday, September 24, 2012

NHPCO Partner on Choosing Wisely Campaign

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) has joined the list of consumer communication partners for Choosing Wisely®, a national campaign launched in April by the ABIM Foundation and Consumer Reports promoting informed healthcare decision making.

The goal of Choosing Wisely is to promote conversations between physicians and patients about utilizing the most appropriate tests and treatments and avoiding care that is unnecessary.

In April nine leading medical specialty societies announced lists of “Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question”. Since then, 20 additional specialty societies, including the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, have joined with the ABIM Foundation to develop evidence-based lists of tests and procedures physicians and patients should talk about for various medical conditions. These lists will be announced in early 2013.

Consumer Reports is spearheading efforts to translate this critical healthcare information for consumers and is working with many other consumer and healthcare groups, such as NHPCO, to disseminate the information using patient-friendly language.

"Consumer Reports is very excited that NHPCO is promoting patient education and helping to improve patient relationships with physicians as part of the Choosing Wisely campaign. The campaign is a great way to help get these important messages about appropriate use of medical tests, treatments, and procedures out to a diverse population, and we are pleased that they will be partnering with us in this initiative," said John Santa, MD, MPH, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center.

For more information on Choosing Wisely, visit: or

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

NHPCO Announces Mary J. Labyak Institute for Innovation

The National Center for Care at the End of Life Will be Home to the New Mary J. Labyak Institute for Innovation

Institute Will Focus on Making a Powerful Difference in End-of-Life Care through Education, Leadership, and Outreach

As part of its mission to lead and mobilize social change for improved care at the end of life,  NHPCO has announced the creation of the Mary J.Labyak Institute for Innovation.
The Institute, which is named after the late hospice pioneer, Mary J. Labyak, is designed to continue her legacy of listening, learning and innovating.
Labyak, who passed away in February 2012, was one of the most widely recognized innovators working on behalf of hospice and palliative care in the U.S. The Institute bearing her name will continue her work by developing and promoting new strategies to ensure the best possible care for patients and families—and by always keeping the needs of patients and families at the center of hospice care.
 “More than 40 years ago, innovators such as Mary took the core of an idea and built the foundation upon which today’s hospice and palliative care providers serve millions of patients and families each year,” said J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of NHPCO. “With the creation of this Institute, we take a giant step forward in ensuring that the innovation that changed the health care landscape so many years ago continues to improve the quality of health care delivered today.”
The Institute is a part of the National Center for Care at the End of Life which also houses NHPCO and three affiliate organizations.
The Institute is comprised of 10 Centers that will work collaboratively to advance the care continuum through education, leadership, and resource dissemination. Each Center will determine gaps in practice, identify resources, and develop and disseminate tools to deliver the best possible care to patients and families. The 10 Centers are:

·         Children’s Hospice and Palliative Care

·         Clinical Excellence

·         Consumer and Caregiver Engagement

·         Ethical Practice

·         Expanding the Continuum

·         Grief and Bereavement

·         Leadership Development

·         Organizational Excellence

·         Spiritual Care

·         Veterans’ Care

The Institute was started with seed funding from Mary Labyak’s estate and memorial gifts in her honor, as well as an investment by NHPCO. The National Hospice Foundation, the philanthropic affiliate of NHPCO, is seeking additional support for the Institute and its work.

For more information on the Mary J. Labyak Institute for Innovation, visit

Thursday, September 13, 2012

NHPCO Hospice Action Network on Sequestration - "Fiscal Cliff"

Congress returns to Washington today for a few short weeks of work prior to an election recess scheduled to begin in October.  There are a few “must-do” items they need to address during September, but the majority of legislative activity will be punted until after the November elections.  Despite this delayed legislative timeline, political posturing and public debate on the “fiscal cliff” has already begun and is expected to kick into high gear with this week’s anticipated report from the Obama Administration on their plans for the implementation of sequestration.

Have questions regarding the “fiscal cliff” and/or sequestration?  Wondering what they even are and how they might affect hospice?  NHPCO's Office of Public Policy has prepared an in-depth analysis for you to be “in the know” before these issues start moving on the Hill. 

Whatever the turnout of the elections, or the Administration’s implementation plan, NHPCO and the Hospice Action Network have been working for months to educate key policy makers on how these huge economic packages could impact access to high-quality, compassionate end-of-life care throughout the nation.  You’ll be hearing more about these efforts and how you can get involved in the coming days and weeks.  In the meantime, this briefing paper gives you just enough information to be prepared for the future – in your program, and as a Hospice Advocate. 

The issues surrounding the “fiscal cliff” are complex and there are many moving parts.  We invite you to download our issue brief, "Policy Analysis: The Fiscal Cliff."