Friday, March 27, 2020

NHPCO Launches Social Media Campaign for Hospice and Palliative Care Community

NHPCO launched a new social media campaign today called #hapcFacesOfCaring. The campaign is specifically designed for hospice and palliative care providers to share their experiences from the field as they continue to provide care during the COVID-19 health care crisis. 

The pandemic has created many challenges for the hospice and palliative care community. Providers face many unknowns, lack of equipment, and exposure to the virus itself, but remain deeply committed to providing care to their patients and families despite the crisis. Through #hapcFacesOfCaring, providers will be able to share a mixture of positive and authentic stories from the field capturing the true moments that comprise a day in the life of a hospice and palliative care provider.  

Within hours of launch, providers began sharing a wide variety of content including selfies in masks, a team in a prayer circle, and a staff member taking a moment with a pet therapy dog. 

“We hope this campaign will create a sense community among providers who are in the field, allowing them to see one another and to know that they aren’t alone during this challenging time,” said NHPCO President and CEO Edo Banach. “Hospice and palliative care professionals are already rising to the challenge, navigating this new reality with limited resources and many unknowns all while ensuring their patients and families are cared for. We want to highlight their good work and commitment.” 

People can participate in #hapcFacesOfCaring in two ways.  
  1. They can post their photos and a description on their own social media accounts and use the hashtag #hapcFacesOfCaring 
  1. They can be filled out the online form. Those submissions will be shared on NHPCO social media channels.  
To learn more about NHPCO’s #hapcFacesOfCaring go to 

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Hospice Action Network Virtual Advocacy Day – March 24

The Hospice Action Network will hold its virtual advocacy day on Tuesday March 24, 2020.  However, hospice and palliative care advocates should note that the virtual Call to Action will extend through Friday, March 27.

The focus is on supporting hospices during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Advocates will reach out to their Congressional representatives to request assistance with two important Coronavirus (COVID-19) issues in the hospice community. First, hospices are suffering from a severe lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that would allow us to continue to serve patients while reducing risk of exposure to COVID-19 to patients, their caregivers, and the public.

The call will ask Congress to increase the available funding for PPE and ensure that hospices are priority recipients when the state governors work with FEMA to distribute PPE to essential healthcare providers.

“Our patients are the most vulnerable Americans, and they do not deserve to be abandoned for lack of available safety measures,” said NHPCO and HAN President and CEO Edo Banach.

Additionally, hospice was excluded from President Trump’s National Emergency declaration granting Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar authority under Section 1135 of the Social Security Act on March 13, 2020. This means that hospice providers, who care for the nation’s most vulnerable patients, experiencing serious and life-threatening illness, face additional barriers to providing care in the private home and other healthcare settings.

The Hospice Action Network makes it easy for advocates and supporters to make their voice heard via the virtual online HAN Legislative Action Center.

Take Action today! (And the call to action extends to Friday, March 27, 2020.)

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

COVID-19: A Call to Action

by Edo Banach
President and CEO

We are amid a global pandemic that challenges and strains all of us, our institutions, and the entire fabric of our economy and democracy.  It is disorienting for all and paralyzing for many, but those in our community must engage and respond. There has never been a more important time to be ambassadors of the kind of person-centered serious illness care that our country is going to need.  Indeed, hospice and palliative care are going to be crucial resources to help treat and care for the hundreds of thousands or millions of Americans who are going to be impacted by COVID-19. 

It is important to remember that we have been here before. HIV and COVID-19 are very different viruses, but both are contagious diseases that were not fully understood at the time. Fear ruled, and the government and traditional health care system at first shied away. Hospice was then in its infancy in the United States, and yet we—you—leaned in to help. I have heard some disturbing feedback from the field that COVID-19 is not “our” problem. I hope that we can squash that sentiment right now. 

This is very much our problem, and we are in just about the best position to help people deal with the serious illness care and, unfortunately, end-of-life care that they will require. 

Here’s some sobering news: if projections are accurate, COVID-19 will be the third leading cause of death in the United States over the next year.1 Unless we are comfortable with some other entity or sector stepping up, we must do so ourselves or face irrelevance. 

So, here’s my ask during these uncertain times:
  • Lean in. Ask what you can do to help, and help. Focus on care and compassion. 
  • Communicate your needs to us. Let us worry about reimbursement, waivers, demos, and all of the other legal, regulatory and legislative changes we are going to need. Now is the time to focus on providing care. However, when we need you to reach out to officials, we hope you’ll assist to ensure your voice is heard. 
  • By all means, do not waste any energy on turf. Non-profit vs. for-profit, hospice vs. palliative care, us vs. them, etc. This is an all hands on-deck moment, and we need to rise to the challenge. Go big, get magnanimous, and there’s no room for any of us to be are small and petty. 
  • Practice self-care. You cannot care for others unless you are well yourself. Eat right, exercise, do yoga, dance, or do anything else that helps you recharge. 
This moment, this crisis, is horrible. And yet, it is also our time to show our mettle. We as a field have been arguing that we need flexibilities in hospice to achieve our fullest potential. We are about to get flexibilities new to us. We have been arguing that we need a serious illness benefit—palliative care—that is paid for by Medicare FFS. We are pushing hard for that right now. We have been arguing for relief from audits and red tape. That is happening. And we are continuing to push where further guidance and considerations are needed.

So, now’s our time to step up, to lean in, and to be as large as this moment. Please join me and NHPCO in stepping up now. Thanks for your work and commitment. We are proud to be your association, and we promise to be right there alongside you as we lead person-centered care!

Find the latest news on COVID-19 at

Friday, March 13, 2020

Advocacy Day is now Virtual!

March’s advocacy event designed to take the voice of the hospice and palliative care community to Capitol Hill will now happen virtually.

Hospice Action Network will be hosting FREE Virtual Advocacy Day Training Webinars, and the upside to that is that everyone can participate. Please check out the HAN Virtual Advocacy Day website and sign up for our Training Webinars.

Then, all throughout the week of March 23-27, use the HAN Legislative Action Center to contact your Members of Congress and advocate for hospice and palliative care.

Especially now in light of COVID-19, when vulnerable patients and an exhausted healthcare workforce are facing a public health emergency, it is important for advocates to be speaking up about the needs of our patients and providers. Join the hospice and palliative care community for Virtual Advocacy Day and make a difference!

Additionally, if you are searching for resources related to COVID-19, please check out NHPCO’s website at