The year is coming to a close and it’s been a busy one for NHPCO staff and members across the nation. While the NHPCO team is proud of the 2023 accomplishments outlined below, we didn’t achieve them on our own. Our work is made possible by our members, through support in the form of belonging to NHPCO, direct service on NHPCO committees, councils, and boards, and via ongoing feedback and participation in our various requests for input, networking calls, office hours, and online courses. While there is far more to reflect on than can be captured in a short blog post, here are twelve standout accomplishments from the year.
Value of Hospice in Medicare Report
In March of 2023, NHPCO, in collaboration with NAHC,
released research conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago which
demonstrates patients’ use of hospice care contributed to $3.5 billion in
savings for Medicare in 2019, while providing multiple benefits to patients,
families, and caregivers. Access the report on this NHPCO webpage, read the press
release, or learn about the congressional
briefing on the value of the benefit held in July of this year.
In February, Former President Jimmy Carter and his family
chose hospice care for his end-of-life journey and announced this decision to
the world. By sharing that choice publicly, the Carters have sparked a national
conversation and countless private ones about the value of hospice. Read more
about NHPCO’s NYC
August event to acknowledge six months since former President Jimmy Carter
entered hospice care and the most recent NHPCO Updater blog post by NHPCO’s
Interim CEO, The
Carters Are Showing Us What Hospice Means.
Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter have captured the hearts and mind of a nation and as a result, dozens of articles and episodes have been written and released addressing the myths and misconceptions of hospice care which have been invaluable in educating the public about the hospice benefit. A few standout examples include:
- NPR Morning Edition – What does it mean to offer compassionate care for people facing the end of life?
- The Washington Post – Carters’ journey highlights tough questions about when to choose hospice
- USA Today – Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter bring needed attention to hospice care – and questions
- The New York Times – Americans Glimpse Jimmy Carter’s Frailty and His Resolve
- The Hill – How Jimmy Carter has changed the conversation around hospice
- The Seattle Times – President Jimmy Carter and the benefits of early hospice care
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) acted
on 17 of the 34 hospice program integrity recommendations NHPCO and other
leading organizations made earlier this year to protect the integrity of the
hospice community. NHPCO celebrated success on behalf of the ideals at
the heart of the hospice—high quality, person-centered, interdisciplinary care.
1. 2023 NHPCO Annual Leadership Conference
As the first in-person conference NHPCO hosted since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the rebranded 2023 NHPCO Annual Leadership Conference (ALC2023) brought together over 900 hospice and palliative care leaders and aspiring leaders working to advance the field of hospice and palliative care. Read a summary of the conference’s events or learn about what ALC2024 has in store.
1. Hospice Action Network’s Hospice Action Week
In June, more than 70 hospice and palliative care advocates
from across the country met with over 130 congressional offices to discuss key
legislative and regulatory priorities for ensuring and expanding access to
hospice and palliative care. The meetings were part of Hospice
Action Week, hosted in Washington, DC by NHPCO and its advocacy affiliate,
the Hospice Action Network
1. Quality and Innovation Network Launch
In 2023, NHPCO launched a new quality program, the Quality and Innovation Network. This program brings together a community of providers committed to establishing a culture of quality within their organizations and facilitates collaboration across providers nationwide through monthly virtual working sessions and NHPCO’s expert support.
1. CaringInfo.org Launches in Spanish
CaringInfo.org is a program of NHPCO that provides free resources to educate and empower patients and caregivers to make decisions about serious illness and end-of-life care and services. In October, NHPCO announced the launch of the CaringInfo.org website in Spanish. All pages and advance directives on the website are available in translation and NHPCO will continue to translate any new site additions.
In 2023, the We Honor Veterans launched two new website sections, Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy and Caring for Veterans and Women Veterans and End-of-Life Care. The psychedelic-assisted therapy page defines the practice, covers studies and emerging organizations in the field, catalogs other sites with additional information, and discusses some of the policy efforts currently underway. The women Veterans page, created in collaboration with Dr. Qwynn Galloway-Salazar – a U.S. Army Veteran – outlines the unique experiences and needs of women Veterans at the end of life, including unique risk factors, circumstances, and strategies for appropriately engaging these Veterans.
1. Project ECHO 2023 Series: Equity Where It Matters
Project ECHO is an innovative program designed to create
virtual groups of learners by bringing together healthcare providers, subject
matter experts, and the wider community using case-based learning and fostering
an “all teach, all learn” approach. The 2023
NHPCO Project ECHO curriculum focused on inclusive topics addressing
various aspects of diversity and cultural competence in healthcare. Individuals
who completed the curriculum earned a certificate in diversity, equity, and inclusion
for hospice and palliative care.
1. National Hospice and Palliative Care Month – Courageous Conversations
The 2023 NHPCO theme for National Hospice and Palliative Care Month (HAPCM) was Courageous Conversations. The campaign encouraged everyone to engage in Courageous Conversations to start a meaningful dialogue on dying a good death, and NHPCO offered an extensive resource library to members who wanted to participate in the campaign. NHPCO enjoyed wide participation from members across social media and through local events.
1. New NHPCO Quality Member Resources
Throughout 2023, the NHPCO Quality and Regulatory teams were hard at work creating valuable, members-only resources on a wide variety of topics from workforce training to enable high-quality care to comprehensive guides that help your organization navigate reporting requirements. Review the list of top resources below and access all of these materials on the NHPCO Quality Resources webpage.
- NHPCO Care Planning Primer and Tip Sheet
- Telehealth Toolkit – best practices for Administrators and Clinicians
- Interdisciplinary Hospice Onboarding and Orientation Guide
- Charting a Course to Quality – A Consumer Guide to Publicly Reported Quality Measures
- Charting a Course to Quality – HQRP Comprehensive Resource Guide
- Measures of Excellence National Report
- STAR National Report
1. 2023 Facts & Figures Report
In December, NHPCO published its 2023 edition of Facts and Figures, an annual report on key data points related to the delivery of hospice care, including information on patient characteristics, location and level of care, Medicare hospice spending, and hospice providers. NHPCO Facts and Figures is the leading resource for hospice providers and others interested in understanding the work of the community.
Looking to 2024, we are excited about expanding the resources and advocacy we provide the serious-illness home care community. In August of 2023, the NHPCO and National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) boards agreed to pursue a new, combined organization. All updates about the merger have been and will continue to be included on this webpage about the new organization. The webpage also includes a list of notable press.
As a united organization and community, we will be even
better equipped to fulfill our mission of leading and mobilizing the
transformation of care delivery to ensure equitable access to high-quality,
interdisciplinary, person-centered care for those living with serious illness.
In the meantime, as we work toward this future organization, NHPCO will
continue to deliver expert resources, guidance, education, and advocacy on
behalf of our members nationwide. We’re glad to have you along for the journey.