NHPCO Applauds Introduction of Opioid Disposal Bill

On February 15th, U.S. Representative Tim Walberg (MI-07) introduced H.R. 5041, the Safe Disposal of Unused Medication Act, in response to America’s opioid crisis.  Representatives Debbie Dingell (MI-12) and Richard Hudson (NC-08) joined Rep. Walberg as original cosponsors of the bill. This legislation would help prevent the misuse or diversion of unused medications by equipping hospice professionals with the legal authority to safely dispose of unused drugs after a hospice patient’s death.

In a press release, Rep. Walberg stated “Many patients receiving hospice care need painkillers to help with end-of-life pain, but any leftover medication can unfortunately end up in the wrong hands.”  The hospice community is actively working toward avoiding drug diversion and this bill is a common-sense approach that will help curtail the opioid problem.  NHPCO supports this bill, appreciates Congressman Walberg’s leadership, and looks forward to working with him in the future. Stay tuned for a one-page brief on this legislation and information on how you can help.

Upcoming Opportunities to Meet your Members of Congress

Check out the latest list of upcoming townhalls, constituent coffees, and tele-town halls. These are great opportunities to meet and talk to your Members of Congress, introduce your programs, and give them some information about hospice and palliative care in their district:


01/26/2018 8:00am – 9:00am Rep. David Young (R-IA-003) Coffee with Congressman Des Moines IA
01/26/2018 11:00am – 12:00pm Rep. David Young (R-IA-003) Coffee with Congressman Milo IA
01/26/2018 9:30am Rep. Matthew Cartwright (D-PA-017) Coffee with your Congressman Scranton PA
01/26/2018 9:00am – 10:00am Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC-007) Coffee with your Congressman Myrtle Beach SC
01/27/2018 9:30am Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ-007) Coffee with your Congressman Phoenix AZ
01/27/2018 10:00am – 11:00am Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA-014) Town Hall Meeting Pacifica CA
01/27/2018 10:00am – 11:00am Rep. David Young (R-IA-003) Coffee with Congressman Bridgewater IA
01/27/2018 1:00pm – 2:00pm Rep. David Young (R-IA-003) Coffee with Congressman Winterset IA
01/31/2018 11:30am -12:30pm Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) Constituent Coffee Washington DC
02/01/2018 7:00pm – 8:00pm Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN-004) Town Hall Meeting North Saint Paul MN
02/01/2018 6:30pm – 8:00pm Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY-013) State of the District New York NY
02/01/2018 8:30am – 9:30am Sen. Robert P. Casey (D-PA) Coffee with Senator Casey Washington DC
02/09/2018 7:00pm Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-VT) Town Hall Meeting Burlington VT
02/12/2018 6:30pm – 8:00pm Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA-011) Town Hall Meeting Pleasant Hill CA
02/13/2018 7:00pm – 8:00pm Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO-007) Tele Town Hall Meeting Not Available Not Available
02/15/2018 6:00pm Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-GA-003) Tele Town Hall Meeting Not Available Not Available
02/15/2018 8:30am Sen. Robert P. Casey (D-PA) Coffee with Senator Casey Washington DC
03/26/2018 7:00pm Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO-007) Tele Town Hall Meeting Not Available Not Available

New Podcast: Hospice Nursing Services

Hospice nursing services made it on the CMS list of deficiencies again in 2016 and is one of the common questions Jennifer receives from the field. Hear Jennifer and Jon R. discuss the basics of nursing supervision. NHPCO President and CEO also joins us for a discussion on the organization in 2018 and an exciting upcoming partnership.

We thank the sponsor of episode 31:  Accreditation Commission for Health Care. Inc. Visit the ACHC website to download the Distinction in Palliative Care standards document.

Quick Links to Resources Mentioned in this Podcast:

NHPCO Welcomes Alex Azar as HHS Secretary

Hospice and palliative care community look forward to supporting Azar’s efforts on behalf of patient-centered, holistic care.

(Alexandria, Va) – The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) congratulates Alex Azar on his Senate confirmation as United States Secretary of Health and Human Services this week.

“The appointment of Alex Azar puts a seasoned leader at the helm of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and NHPCO looks forward to working collaboratively with Secretary Azar and his staff to ensure that all Americans have access to person-centered, family-oriented, interdisciplinary care – something that has been a hallmark of hospice care for four decades,” said Edo Banach, NHPCO president and CEO.

Secretary Azar’s experience with hospice, referenced in his nomination hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Nov. 29 of last year, will prove an invaluable asset as he leads the department whose mission is to enhance and protect the well-being of all Americans. The hospice and palliative care community appreciate his understanding of quality care during this important period and looks forward to working to advance efforts to ensure all people receive the right care at the right time.

“Given the hospice and palliative care community’s collective experience of providing interdisciplinary, person-centered care, we firmly believe that we can work with HHS to help address issues facing health care delivery and point to solutions from our experience, said Banach.

Learn more about National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization at nhpco.org.  Consumer information on hospice and palliative care is available at NHPCO’s Caringinfo.org.

Send A Letter to the Editor about Medicare Extenders

We have received a lot of emails and calls from you all about what you can do in the face of the proposed Hospital DRG payment cuts and the Medicare Extenders Package. In addition to contacting Congress, we have also created an easy-to-use Letter to the Editor template! We already wrote the letter, you just have to complete the fields with your information and it will be sent to all your local newspapers. Please feel free to edit the letter to make it personal!

Send your Letter to the Editor today!