Thursday, June 13, 2019

NDS – Send us Your Data!

Now through July 26, you have the opportunity to participate in the NHPCO’s National Data Set.

You may ask---what’s that?  Well, with all the data collected by CMS and other industry sources, there is still a gap in information that is useful for benchmarking your staffing, budgets, and supporting your strategic goals.  The NDS serves as a central collection point for some of this key data and brings together provider experience from across the industry.
By participating, you have access to this industry wide data so that you can benchmark yourself against other providers of similar sizes and geography.  This can be a gold-mine to many providers to help set and confirm staffing levels, budgets, influence delivery of care changes, and shape the goals of your Hospice and its services.  For NHPCO, we use this information to help us derive insights coupled with other data to influence lawmakers and policy that positively impacts our industry so it’s a win: win scenario.

Don’t just take our word for it:
Leanne Burrack, vice president from UnityPoint Hospice, says that her organization often depends on the NDS to benchmark operations.  They have used NDS related data and insights to help create staffing guidelines, inform budget projections, and influence on-going hiring and growth expectations across all disciplines.

Jennifer Kennedy, NHPCO’s senior director, regulatory and quality, uses the NDS results coupled with other data sources and her vast experience to create tools for providers such as NHPCO’s Staffing Guidelines which is designed to help providers develop staffing levels for quality patient/family care delivery.
Examples like these highlights how useful it is to have industry data to help us all work smarter, not just harder.  We need your help, please visit our NDS website to learn more about the specific questions, raffled prizes for participation, and/or to access the survey’s link.

By Don Sievert
NHPCO Senior Director, Decision Support

Monday, June 10, 2019

Contribute to The Hospice Music Project

Joy in a Teardrop: The Hospice Music Project was initiated with the creation of a song, Joy in a Teardrop, which was written as part of a songwriting workshop at NHPCO’s Interdisciplinary Conference in November 2018 in New Orleans. Led by GRAMMY award winning songwriter Tricia Walker and John Mulder, hospice professionals shared reflections of their work and put words to the many emotions experienced in caring for those at life’s end. Walker and Mulder shaped those words and added music to bring Joy in a Teardrop to life.

Spurred on by the hospice community’s positive response to Joy in a Teardrop, NHPCO is launching a  new program, Joy in a Teardrop: The Hospice Music Project, which will result in a full album of songs that reflect the experience of hospice professionals in the work that they do – the joys, sorrows, difficult and challenging times, and even the lighthearted and humorous moments that are a part of everyday end-of-life experiences.

Joy in a Teardrop: The Hospice Music Project, will be led by Tricia Walker and John Mulder, they will be assisted by other highly decorated songwriters, including Beth Nielsen Chapman and Marcus Hummon. These writers will take the thoughts and ideas provided by hospice and palliative care professionals and craft original songs, just as Walker and Mulder did with the original song.

NHPCO invites you to share your ideas with us – perhaps just a word or phrase, maybe a concept or thought, or even a meaningful story or vignette. It may be your experience, the experience of a patient or family, or something that was shared by a coworker.  They can be incomplete and scattered thoughts – we’d just like your reflections on this work that we all cherish.

You can submit your ideas at  If you have any questions about the project, you can also submit those to the same address, and we’ll respond to you.