Wednesday, January 29, 2020

2020 is the year you get your measurement efforts up to speed!

By J. Brian Cassel and Kathleen Kerr

Having the right data is critical to sustaining, improving and growing our palliative care services – but so many of us struggle with our evaluation programs. The prospect of developing a measurement plan, much less implementing one, can feel daunting, and all too often this important work gets set aside as we tend to other urgent priorities and demands.

Having a good understanding of how to develop and implement a solid measurement plan can make jumping in much easier. Here is our approach to plan development:
  • Understand the essential building blocks for effective measurement –the tools and processes that support data acquisition, data analysis, and reporting.
  • Pick specific measures that align with your stakeholder needs and interests.
  • Learn how to measure across domains, to get trustworthy and useful information about clinical, operational and financial processes and outcomes.
  • Assess the current processes and assets, and identify gaps.
  • Review the do’s and don’ts for using an electronic health record to support measurement and evaluation.
  • Figure out how to motivate your team and other stakeholders to support measurement, by collecting data, investing in evaluation, and using findings to support improvement.
  • Design and implement a feasible measurement plan, in a way that accounts for your resources and goals.

If that sounds right to you, consider attending Developing and Implementing a Measurement Plan for your Palliative Care Program, which will be offered on March 24, 2020, as a full-day pre-conference workshop at NHPCO’s Leadership & Advocacy Conference (Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, MD). Over the course of the day, our five expert faculty members will guide your team through all of the above.

Even better, our faculty will work with you in the 12 months after the workshop to help you tackle expected and unexpected challenges as you implement your plan (at no additional charge).

Whether you have a mature program and it’s time to retool your measurement activities, or if you are just getting started in palliative care and you want to measure smart right from the beginning, the workshop should help you move from dreaming about effective measurement to actually doing it.

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Register for the Leadership and Advocacy Conference by January 31, 2020 to capture the early-bird registration rate.  More information about the LAC 2020 is available online.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

NHPCO’s Re-imaged E-Online Offers 24/7 Education to the Field

Important digital resource for hospice and palliative care education

Given the demands on our time, budget constraints, and the challenge of finding work-life balance, there has never been a greater need for on-demand, online professional education. National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization is proud to announce the launch of the upgraded resource, NHPCO’s E-Online (E-OL).

Enhanced User Experience
E-Online has been redesigned with users in mind and built for a better online learning experience. The up-to-date design features a clearer navigation structure and search functionality that will help all professionals interested in person-centered care find a course that matches their specific learning objectives. Visitors will find easier site interaction with fewer clicks to access course content and complete education activities.

The re-imaged E-Online is mobile-responsive, so courses are can be accessed via any digital device, with no usability concerns regardless if a user is accessing a course via PC, laptop, mobile, or tablet.

Curated Course Catalog
NHPCO’s staff, faculty, and members of the Professional Education Committee have gone through all available courses on the previous E-OL site to select only the best offerings on relevant areas of practice and timely topics that bring value to hospice and palliative care professionals.
With a collection of courses that are available 24/7, users can stop a course and resume later to continue the course through completion. This makes learning available to the user when and where they are ready.

Instructor-led Courses
E-Online also features a series of live, instructor-led courses that begin throughout the year. Upcoming instructor-led modules include: Emotional Intelligence beginning January 27, The Interdisciplinary Team: Key Skills for Hospice Managers on February 3, Managing Conflict in the Workplace on March 9, and Ethics for Managers beginning April 6. Registration for these and other live modules is open now and these courses tend to reach capacity quickly.

“All the members of the Interdisciplinary Team who are interested in person- and family-centered care will find a course on E-Online that will help them deepen and expand their professional skills,” said NHPCO President and CEO Edo Banach.

No Additional Cost for CE/CME
CE/CME is available to member and non-member course participants at no additional cost. Users have the flexibility to select and claim CE/CME credit and certificate of completion from within the learning portal – an important upgrade from the previous E-OL system. With our upgraded E-Online, users will be able to determine the number of CE’s completed at any point during the year or at the end of the year for an easily accessible summary.  

NHPCO Commitment
As part of NHPCO’s strategic priorities for 2020-2021, the organization is committed to making high-quality professional education available in a range of affordable formats that will address the skills and training needed to not only survive but thrive in today’s professional world. Ongoing upgrades to improve E-Online will include video, enhanced media, and interactive features that will increase engagement and enhance the learning experience.

Educational programming will expand as more on-demand courses are added and instructor-led sessions are offered. Conference programming from the annual Virtual Conference hosted by NHPCO, AAHPM, and HPNA will also be available via E-Online.

Reduced Pricing Structure
To encourage professionals to take advantage of this valuable digital learning portal, NHPCO is announcing a newly revised pricing structure: 30 to 50 percent off ALL courses (except for the Instructor-led MDP Modules). Additionally, various course bundle options are now available in a variety of topics at a discounted rate of three courses for the price of four.

Visit NHPCO’s E-Online and take advantage of the redesigned learning portal created for hospice and palliative care professionals and others interested in interdisciplinary care.

To contact the NHPCO education team, please email – they will be happy to assist members and non-members interested in E-Online or other NHPCO professional development opportunities, such as conferences and webinars. Visit the education page at to learn more about the range of educational programs that are available.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Be Equipped to Face the Federal Focus on Hospices

Following the July 2019 release of reports from the OIG on concerns with oversight and quality of hospice care in the United States, it is more important now than ever that providers are on top of their regulatory and quality practices. Additionally, with program integrity legislation introduced by the Senate and the imminent release of a separate bill expected from the House of Representatives, the focus on the hospice community is truly heightened.

 As a part of our efforts to help providers navigate these critical issues, the 2020 Leadership and Advocacy Conference will be the first opportunity that members of your team can take part in both the Hospice Compliance Certificate Program and the inaugural offering of the Quality Certificate Program. In addition to these preconference offerings, the regulatory and quality tracks that run through the conference will continue to address the pressing importance of these issues with sessions on cost reporting, compliance risks, reimbursement, and demonstration models. We are proud to have Don Berwick as our opening keynote. We will also have representation from CMS, the MACs, CMMI and the OIG, making participation in LAC particularly valuable to hospice leaders and managers.

Your entire team needs to be on board with at least the basic components of regulatory and quality issues for your program to thrive in 2020.

Preconference Offerings:

  • Hospice Compliance Certificate Program
  • Hospice Quality Certificate Program
  • Achieving Success in Value-Based Payment Models

Concurrent sessions include:

  • Moving Community-Based Palliative Care to The Joint Commission Certification
  • Hospice Medicare Updates from NGS
  • Navigating and Contracting Inpatient Care under the New Medicare Payment Rates
  • Establishing Leading Indicators of the Care Experience
  • Focusing Auditing and Monitoring Resources on Your Compliance Risk Areas
  • Enhancing Patient Quality of Life Through Comprehensive Symptom Management

See the full LAC agenda that lists the preconference offerings and concurrent sessions.

Register by January 31, 2020 to capture the early-bird registration rates!

Download the 2020 LAC brochure (PDF).

Monday, January 13, 2020

Registration is open for Leadership and Advocacy Conference 2020

The NHPCO Leadership and Advocacy Conference is where hospice and palliative care leaders gather to exchange ideas, strategies, and solutions. The impact of your LAC2020 experience will last beyond March, with sessions that focus on strengthening your organization and connecting with other leaders in the field. Register before January 31, 2020 and receive early-bird registration!

Leadership and Advocacy Conference
March 25 – 27, 2020
Preconference and Hill Day event: March 23 – 24
Gaylord National Harbor (a suburb of Washington, DC)

There’s nothing like a face-to-face conference to recharge your batteries, fuel your creativity, and renew your sense of mission. Joining us for LAC2020 is an investment in yourself and your organization. You won’t want to miss the 75+ educational sessions covering these topics:
  • Advocacy
  • Clinical and Operations Management
  • Emerging Markets and Partnership Opportunities
  • Engagement and Marketing
  • Finance
  • Fund Development
  • Leadership
  • Palliative Care
  • Quality
  • Regulatory
  • Staff Development
Opening keynote speaker will be Don Berwick, MD, former administrator at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Founding CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

LAC2020 includes an array of preconference seminar and our 2-day Capitol Hill event on March 23 and 24. Learn more about the LAC preconference.

Check out the complete LAC agenda.

Hosted at the Gaylord National Harbor Resort and Convention Center located just across the river from Washington, DC. Attend LAC at National Harbor and find exciting attractions, shopping, dining and nightlife – in addition to the field’s leading conference experience created for hospice and palliative care leaders and managers.

Download a copy of the LAC promotional brochure.

Online registration is open now!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Hosting a Hospice Resource Fair on Capitol Hill

Please join the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and the National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care for a free resource fair celebrating the hospice community and highlighting the great work of various community organizations.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020
11:00 AM – 2:00 PM EST

Rayburn House Office Building, Foyer
45 Independence Avenue Southwest
Washington, DC 20515

Did you know that…

  • Hospices often provide bereavement care in the wake of natural disasters, opioid overdoses, and mass casualty events?
  • Hospices work with the Department of Veterans Affairs through the We Honor Veterans program to honor Veterans at the end of life?
  • Hospices partner with Pet Peace of Mind to ensure that pets of hospice patients are well cared for, and re-homed when necessary?
  • Hospices are required to utilize volunteers, who provide compassionate care and assistance to patients and their caregivers?

Refreshments, music therapy demonstrations, and animal companionship will be provided.

Please join NHPCO and the National Coalition as they reach out to Congressional staff and help inform the public about the multitude of services hospice provides. 

Note: ID/security check is required to enter the Rayburn House Office Building.

Register for the free event.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

A New Year Begins: A Message from Edo Banach

It's 2020, the New Year is here.

During the holiday season that brought 2019 to a close with Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, I hope you found time to spend with family and loved ones. As one year comes to a close and a new one begins, many of us think about resolutions for the year. As I start a new year, I find it important to express gratitude for all that I have in my life - my family, my vocation, my colleagues and friends... In this spirit, I want to share some of the content that is included in the Winter 2019 edition of our member publication, NewsLine. “The Gift of…” article that beings on page 24 reminds us of the importance of the work we do and how it’s more than a profession but a calling to serve. From the legacy of Lou Alvarez, to memories made possible by NHF Lighthouse of Hope, to the service of our volunteer award honorees, and the power of music as an expression, please take some time to read and share these stories that you'll find in digital NewsLine

This issue of NewsLine also shares some reminders of the ongoing work that we share in ensuring all people have access to person- and family-centered care. For example, I was honored to provide testimony to the House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee on the importance of person-centered, interdisciplinary care at the hearing on Caring for Aging Americans. I share some reflections that may be of interest. You will also find some information on program integrity legislation that has been introduced in the Senate and is likely to factor into activity and advocacy in the year ahead.

The year ahead will likely include opportunities to focus on quality and to expand our reach beyond the traditional Medicare hospice benefit. We will also be faced with challenges as regulators, legislators and the administration continue to look closely at hospice care in the U.S. in ways both positive and concerning. Please rest assured that NHPCO and our affiliates are ready to work with our membership to support them through all that is ahead of us. It can be the times that challenge us the most that help us realize how resilient we really are, and spur needed innovation and change within our community.

Let me offer a final thought of appreciation to all those who support NHPCO through membership, sponsorship, advocacy efforts, and involvement in this organization in too many ways to list. Thank you. And if your organization is not a current NHPCO provider member, I encourage you to think about joining us this year; more information in online.

I look forward to the year ahead!

President and CEO