In the December 4th edition of the Sacramento Bee, Karin Klein, shared an all-too-familiar storyabout her brother-in-law, who had dementia and underwent aggressive medical treatment before his death. Her issues with the healthcare system’s treatment of the elderly and the lack of funding for quality end-of-life services reflect the patient experiences that many hospices witness every day.
Quality, attentive end-of-life care can significantly improve quality of life for many frail, elderly individuals, and make the transition easier for patients and their family members. NHPCO is constantly working to communicate these issues with congressional staff and develop solutions.
If you’ve read any stories similar to Karin’s, feel free to share them so that we can incorporate them into our messaging on Capitol Hill and with policymakers.
This week, NHPCO President and CEO Edo Banach spoke at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) on their Roundtable on Quality Care for People with Serious Illness. Edo was part of a panel discussion on “Regulatory and Policy Changes necessary to Ensure High quality Care for People of all Ages with Serious Illness.” During the discussion, Edo emphasized the importance of hospice and palliative care as part of the health care continuum for people with serious illness. He especially noted the need for palliative care and advance care planning, and earlier and seamless transition to hospice. The panel also debated state and federal policy and regulatory changes that would address barriers to high quality care. The roundtable is part of an ongoing effort by NASEM to implement the recommendations of their landmark 2014 Publication, Dying in America.
NHPCO staff worked closely with The National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care (Coalition) on its response to a request for information from the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
The letter addresses cost effective and quality driven patient-centered care models that would improve the healthcare system. NHPCO stands with the Coalition who encourages the CMS Innovation Center to ensure choice and quality competition in the healthcare market, explore new accountable payment mechanisms based on patient need, and address limitations in the Medicare Advantage Value Based Insurance Design as well as other issues in current healthcare models. NHPCO also supports the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine’s proposed payment model that would support palliative care patients.
We will continue to monitor CMMIs activities and promote hospice and palliative care interests.
It’s the joyous season of celebration, cranberry sauce, and of course cyber Monday sales! Most of America is anxiously waiting for the mailman to arrive with that winter coat they just had to get because it was 50% off at Bloomingdales or waiting on some new HD TV that they’ve been eyeing for the longest. I mean, who doesn’t love Cyber Monday or Black Friday, but in the back of our minds, most of us know that this is also the season of giving. Well, today is #GivingTuesday folks and it’s the perfect time to give back! A day started by nonprofit groups 6 years ago to kick-off the charitable season is now celebrated across the nation.
Participate in this #GivingTuesday by contributing to your local hospice organization. Although #GivingTuesday is usually associated with monetary support, if you are unable to donate, you can also get involved by volunteering! Volunteers are an essential part of the hospice care model and have a tremendous impact on the lives of patients and their families as well as the hospice team that they are assisting.
So get involved and be sure to let us know on Twitter by tagging it with #HospiceMonth and #GivingTuesday. We’ll retweet you to show America what’s really important this season!
On Monday, NHPCO President and CEO, Edo Banach, was featured on 14 different radio stations across the country to promote National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and spread the word about the importance of hospice and palliative care in our communities.
“Hospice is not about giving up, the focus here is on the quality of life… and maintaining that quality of life as long as possible” Mr. Banach said during an interview broadcasted by CMU Public Radio, a station based in Central Michigan. The goal of hospice care is to ease the dying process, and many assume that hospice care rushes it. These interviews were a great way to reiterate one of the missions of hospice care to a community of listeners who may not know of its benefits.
In addition to dispelling some misconceptions about hospice, Mr. Banach addressed advance care planning, how to discuss the subject of end-of-life with family members, and how hospices can help families dealing with grief during the holidays.
When asked how to bring up the tough subject of end-of-life during his interview with Lousiana Network Radio, Mr. Banach said “talk not necessarily about the end of life, but talk about what people’s wishes are.” Patients should receive the quality care that they want, and having this conversation when a lot of family members are present could ensure that their wishes are heard and met.
We are happy that Mr. Banach was able to share more information about hospice and palliative care with such a large audience and we hope that you will continue to spread the message as National Hospice and Palliative Care Month comes to a close.
Listen to Mr. Banach’s interviews with CMU Public Radio and Louisiana Network Radio below and keep your ears open and let us know if you hear Mr. Banach on a radio near you!