Friday, July 29, 2016

"Hot" Topics Regulatory, Quality & Compliance Webinar

This has been a year of unprecedented activity on the regulatory and quality fronts for hospice providers.  NHPCO's Webinar on August 23 will help hospice providers stay up to speed on the latest burning issues in quality, regulatory and compliance.

Register for this Webinar, "Hot Topics: Sizzling News for the Field," to hear the latest news about the “hot” topics that are keeping U.S. hospice providers up at night starting with the Final Hospice Wage Index Rule for FY 2017.(See the proposed FY 2017 Rule on the CMS website.)

Hosted on Tuesday, August 23, 2016, 2:00-3:00pm ET, Webinar presenters will be NHPCO Vice Presidents and content experts Judi Lund Person, MPH and Carol Spence, PhD.  Judi and Carol will discuss the final rule’s rate increase and cap adjustments as well as provide updates on the new quality measures and data points for HIS. This Webinar also provides participants with an opportunity to ask NHPCO experts questions on the presentation. Additionally, this Webinar offers CE/CME Credit. 

Learning Objectives:
  • Discuss the Final Hospice Wage Index Rule for FY 2017
  • Describe rate increase and cap adjustments in the final rule
  • Identify the new quality measures and data points for HIS
Visit the NHPCO website to register today.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Feature Your Program Successes at MLC 2017

NHPCO returns to the Washington Hilton for the 2017 Management and Leadership Conference from May 1 – 3. NHPCO is seeking proposals from hospice and palliative care experts designed to advance the knowledge, competence and performance of hospice and palliative care managers and leaders.

NHPCO’s 2017 Management and Leadership Conference learning objectives:

  • Strengthen executive leadership and management skills; 
  • Discuss innovative strategies to respond to changes in the regulatory, health policy and healthcare landscapes;  
  • Develop strategies to adapt to current reimbursement for hospice care and discuss options being considered for the future;  
  • Examine reimbursement options/models for palliative care service provision;
  •  Create organizational systems and processes to adapt to changing circumstances;
  •  Provide tools to ensure the provision of quality, evidence-based, ethical, effective and efficient end-of-life care;
  •  Analyze innovative approaches to improve access to hospice and palliative care by underserved and marginalized populations; 
  •  Highlight exceptional quality assessment and performance improvement practices.
Over 60% of MLC participants have 11+ years of professional experience in the hospice and palliative care field. Thus, proposals to be considered for this conference must be geared toward the expert (advanced) or proficient (intermediate) levels for seasoned hospice palliative care executives and leaders; preference will be given to these proposals. 

Advance leadership in the hospice and palliative care field by submitting a presentation proposal by Wednesday, August 17, 2016; MLC 2017 Proposals.

NHPCO returns to Washington, DC for the 2017 MLC.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Community-Based Palliative Care

By K. Jeanne Dennis, MSW
Associate Consultant, NHPCO Edge

When the winds of change in health care blew our way many of us in hospice cheered, our time had come! Hospice was the one provider that was hitting the triple aim: better quality of health for a population of patients, better health care and at a lower cost. But are the health care providers and payers in our communities flooding our phone lines and email boxes to partner with us, learn from us, contract with us? In some cases perhaps, but mostly we are hidden in plain site, fighting for a seat at the table (with ACOs, DSRIPs, Medicare Advantage plans, PCMHs, etc.) What happened? Why is the hospice model of care not promoted as the solution to the problem of improving quality of care and saving health care dollars? Consider two reasons: Internal barriers and external competition. 

Internal Barriers: 
  • Unprecedented Changes in the core hospice business that require significant operational focus and resource allocation.
  •  Funding: with no distinct palliative care benefit, and the options of Medicare B and/or fund raising lacking the promise of a breakeven bottom line, the financial case is too hard to make.
  •  Infrastructure: Although a community-based palliative care service is anchored in the hospice model, it requires an investment in recruitment and education of staff, an EMR, policies and procedures, a marketing plan, and more.
  •  Strategic Positioning: with some notable exceptions, hospice programs did not have the planning and palliative care program structure ready to go.
  •  Value Proposition: participation in the new shared saving and risk sharing opportunities demands data that demonstrates value. Pulling this information is a challenge for many hospice providers.
External Competition: The lack of distinct Medicare Conditions of Participation or a benefit structure opened up the opportunity for palliative care innovation by other providers and by payers. For example:
  • Large health care systems are already creating post-acute services designed to manage patients in the community and reduce re-admissions
  • Physician groups (often part of a large system) are now expanding home visit and tele-medicine services
  • Major health insurance companies are implementing care management programs with the ability to scale beyond the usual boundaries of most hospice programs
  • New entrants in the field like Aspire Health, a for profit company founded in 2013, now providing community based palliative care in 11 states and the District of Columbia. Aspire has the advantage of a well-known Board Chair, Bill Frist, MD, former Senate Majority Leader and $21m in venture capitalist funding.

The good news is that it’s not too late to succeed. Community-based palliative care is in our DNA, and the opportunity to shape the future of care for a vulnerable population is now. The innovation in palliative care that’s happening among hospice providers is encouraging and exciting. For hospice leaders this service is emerging as a top strategic priority. Hospices are now taking action aimed at clearing the barriers. Record-breaking attendance at NHPCO’s Palliative Care offerings at the recent MLC is evidence of the energy and interest in adapting the hospice principles, practices and proficiencies to meet the care needs in the community and the mandates of the new value based payment models.
NHPCO is committed to leading these efforts and NHPCO Edge is here to provide support and consultation.

This post was written by K. Jeanne Dennis, NHPCO Edge Associate Consultant. NHPCO Edge is proud to count Jeanne among our expert consultants, as she brings decades of experience in hospice leadership. For more info, see NHPCO Edge online.

See our previous NHPCO Edge blog, "Using Metrics for Marketing."