FY2018 Hospice Wage Index Proposed Rule Released

The Proposed Rule is out! It is available for public review here: https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2017-08563.pdf.

The NHPCO Regulatory Team is hard at work analyzing the rule, and members can access their preliminary assessment here.

If you wish to comment on the Proposed Rule, you can do so through Regulations.gov, and please email regulatory@nhpco.org with your feedback as we create our response.

Stay tuned for more information as the Proposed Rule is reviewed!

Celebrating Hospice Volunteers!

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization salutes the estimated 430,000 trained hospice volunteers providing more than 19 million hours of service to hospice programs each year.

National Volunteer Week is April 23 – 29, 2017 and those dedicated individuals offering support, companionship and hope to those facing a life-limiting illness deserve special recognition for the difference they make in America.

“Hospice began as a volunteer-driven movement in this country more than 40 years ago and volunteers continue to play an indispensable role in enabling hospice and palliative care organizations to offer the best care possible for patients and their families and caregivers,” said Edo Banach, NHPCO president and CEO.

Mercedes Ibarra believes sincerely in the hospice mission of providing quality, compassionate end-of-life care to those who are dealing with a terminal diagnosis.  She became a volunteer at Silverado Hospice Los Angeles in 2013 and says that her experience working with hospice patients has been “life-changing”.

Before becoming a hospice volunteer, I never knew that I could love someone I didn’t know that whole heartedly,” shares Mercedes. “And I like knowing that families feel that there is someone there to support them and their loved one.”

Mercedes has shared her story as part of a national campaign, Moments of Life: Made Possible by Hospice, which shows that hospice is not about giving up, but rather making more meaningful moments possible.   In “The Gift of Volunteering,”  viewers are given a glimpse into the life of a hospice volunteer as the camera follows Mercedes on two separate patient visits.  Mercedes and her patients dance, smile, laugh, cry and live in the moment.

Hospice volunteers often serve patients and families at the bedside but they also assist in the office, help raise awareness, contribute to educational programs, and provide fundraising support and more.

It is federally mandated under Medicare that five percent of all patient care hours be provided by trained volunteers. This regulation reflects the vital role that volunteers play in the hospice philosophy of care and ensures that a hospice program has roots deep in the community.

More than 1.65 million patients in the U.S. are cared for by hospice every year.

To learn more about hospice or to contact a local hospice, visit the Moments of Life: Made Possible by Hospice website or contact NHPCO at 1-800-658-8898.

Be Their Voice!

2017 is a year of change in Washington, DC. But with change comes a unique opportunity to influence the shifting political landscape and speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Members of the interdisciplinary team know what it is like to care for patients and families at their most vulnerable times. They are advocates for their patients on a daily basis. In turn, the IDT is in a unique position to be a powerful voice for their patients. Who better to educate Congress about the role of hospice and palliative care in our communities than those frontline caregivers who spend their days at the bedside?

We’re calling on hospice and palliative care frontline caregivers to join us in Washington, DC, on July 17th and 18th for the 2017 Advocacy Intensive. If you have ever wanted to learn more about how you can protect your patients and families, understand how politics and policy influences the hospice and palliative care communities, and take an active role in our American Democracy, this event is for you!

The Details:
1. The event is FREE!
2. Educational sessions are designed for first-timers and returning advocates alike!
3. We will train you on how to be an effective advocate; you don’t need a Political Science degree!
4. The Advocacy Intensive will be held at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, just blocks from the U.S. Capitol. HAN has reserved a discounted rate of $235.00 plus applicable taxes at 14.5% per night.

Register here. 

We hope your hospice program will send staff to attend this year’s event. We want to make sure that all states, regions, and disciplines are represented! This is your best shot at affecting positive change for your program, and the patients and families you serve, so we hope to see you there!

Please feel free to reach out to Karen and Lauren at AdvocacyIntensive@nhpcohan.org with any questions!


This event is sponsored in part by:


Monthly Hospice and Palliative Care News Update

If you’d like to receive this update in your inbox, sign up for our mailing list! March: In like a lion,  out….still like a lion? I know many of you are having some rough weather, so hopefully you can hunker down and weather the storm with this latest hospice and palliative care news update:

What’s up in Congress:

-Rural Access to Hospice Act Reintroduced in the House
-Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act Reintroduced in the House and Senate
-Medicare Patient Access to Hospice Act Reintroduced in the House

Advocacy Opportunities: Advocacy at MLC, the Hill Day attached to NHPCO’s Management and Leadership Conference, is still looking for advocates to represent the following states: OR, UT, NV, AZ, NM, ND, SD, MN, WY, MT, OK, MO, LA, WI, TN, WV,  and DE.   If you or anyone in your organization is attending MLC and wants to come to Hill Day on May 3, registration is open until Friday. The link to register is in the MLC Registration Confirmation email. Please join us to advocate for hospice and palliative care in the new Congress!

Regulatory Watch:
-MedPAC’s Latest Report to Congress: The Hospice Edition
-Trump’s Budget and the Hospice Community

Advocacy Shout out:
Kaweah Delta Hospice hosts Congressional Staff

Latest NHPCO Podcasts:
President Trump’s First Address to Congress
-Hospice Quality Reporting
-The MedPAC Report and Live Discharges

Good Reads:
-A Message from Edo Banach
-It’s About Getting the Care You Want: A Message from NHPCO CEO Edo Banach
Bulldog spreads joy for hospice patients
Cabernet over Chemo: Lessons from Four Docs

Look Ahead:
Also on May 3: Please join us on Capitol Hill for a briefing on Advance Care Planning and National Healthcare Decisions Day at 3:30pm in the Congressional Visitors Center, room 201.

National Healthcare Decisions Day…is now a week! (April 16-22): Are you hosting any NHDD events at your program? Would you like to? Would you like to help educate Congress about the importance of Advance Care Planning? Use our Invitation Template and other resources to involve your Members of Congress in your NHDD events.

April 23-29 is National Volunteer Appreciation Week! Remember to thank all the amazing Hospice Volunteers without whom we could not exist!

Mark your Calendars: The Advocacy Intensive, our FREE, two day advocacy conference in Washington, DC, will take place July 17th and 18th at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill. If you cannot attend Advocacy at MLC, join us for our hallmark event. Registration Opens May 1.

Whew, there was a lot in there. Please feel free to share this content, and to reach out to us with any questions.