Kinnser Software Champions Hospice Care Advocates in Washington, D.C.

The Hospice Action Network is grateful to have the support of Kinnser Software for the Advocacy Intensive for a second year. They shared the post below with us. Kinnser Software, along with Hospice Pharmacy Solutions, supports scholarships for individuals in key states and congressional districts to attend the event. Thank you!

Every day, hospice and palliative care providers like you see the impact of care and compassion on the lives of patients and their families. Every day, caregivers like you bear witness to people nearing the end of their lives and offer much-needed comfort in times of great distress.

But it can be difficult for policymakers to grasp the complexity and profound opportunity of hospice — even though their laws directly affect access to hospice care. That’s why hospice providers, patients, and families need you to share your insights and perspectives with members of Congress during the NHPCO Hospice Action Network’s 2017 Advocacy Intensive, July 17-18 in Washington, D.C.

 The 2017 Advocacy Intensive equips you with the tools and training to share your experiences with elected officials, and Kinnser Software is proud to support this event for another year. Your stories can drive real change and improve care for millions of patients for many years to come. Through advocacy, you have the power to raise policymakers’ awareness of the regulatory and legislative issues that affect hospice care for all Americans.

At Kinnser, supporting hospice care is what we do. We know your work is absolutely vital, and we wish great success for all of you participating in the 2017 Advocacy Intensive! Day in and day out, you make a difference. Now you’re making a difference for the future of hospice care and for your country. Thank you.

NHPCO Submits Comments to FY2018 Proposed Rule

Yesterday, June 26, 2017, NHPCO submitted its comments on the FY2018 Hospice Wage Index proposed rule (PDF). NHPCO thanks the Regulatory, Quality and Standards and Public Policy Committees for their input on this proposed rule, the many members who sent emails about reducing regulatory burden, those who listened to the Listening Sessions, and those who also sent comment letters to CMS.  86 comments were submitted.

Congress is Still Listening to YOU!

               Due to the recent political climate in Washington, D.C., you may wonder what Congress is doing beyond public hearings and news interviews. Fear not! Congress is still working hard to ensure issues that greatly impact Americans are still being addressed. Their progress is only possible by hearing from constituents like you. The 2017 Hospice Action Network Advocacy Intensive is your opportunity to break through the “noise” in Washington. This is your chance to be your patient’s voice.

Demetress Harrell, CEO of Hospice of the Pines, is an Advocacy Intensive veteran.

“I believe in providing excellent quality care with the highest level of integrity and returning to Capitol Hill each year helps to define the destiny our patients,” she writes.

Voices like Demetress’ are being heard and the destiny she writes about is slowly being achieved. Last week, the Patient Choice and Quality Care Act (H.R. 2797, S. 1334) was introduced by hospice champions Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Representative Phil Roe (R-TN) as well as Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA). None of this would have been possible without the support and dedication hospice advocates like you have shown to cultivate their ongoing leadership in Congress.

But there is still work to be done. We need Congressional support for The Patient Choice and Quality Care Act and other legislation important to the hospice and palliative care communities. Register for the 2017 Hospice Action Network Advocacy Intensive and meet with your Members of Congress on Capitol Hill to discuss this legislation and tell the stories of your patients and families.

Your patients and families need a voice on Capitol Hill. You can be that voice and cut through the noise. Register today!

P.S. Continue supporting the Patient Choice and Quality Care Act by writing to them using our E-mail portal!

Protecting Pediatric Palliative Care

A big hats off to Dr. Elisha Waldman in his recent opinion piece for the The Hill, “Access to Palliative Care needs to Stay in the New Health Bill.”  The piece is a strong argument for protecting pediatric palliative care, and he gives a good shout out to the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act.

I definitely recommend it for a read and a share, and also wanted to point out that writing to newspapers like The Hill, Roll Call, and Politico is a great way to get your issue in front of members of Congress. They really appreciate pieces from experts in their field (i.e. healthcare practioners), addressing the real- world implications of policy ideas. Give it a shot!

Additionally, share this article with your Members of Congress! Email it to them, post it to their Facebook page, and Tweet it to them! Tell them why you agree with Dr. Waldman, and how this would affect patients in your district.


To the Nursing Assistants


Today, we honor a group of healthcare providers I hold close to my heart: nursing assistants. As a nursing assistant myself, I know how under-recognized nursing assistants are in the healthcare process. Yet, without us it would be extremely difficult for nurses, doctors and families to care for patients on a holistic level. Without nursing assistants, patients would not be dressed, bathed, transferred, fed, or any other small task which feeds into the overall wellbeing of a patient.

Providing these cares is particularly important in providing quality hospice and palliative care. I remember spending all night rubbing a patient’s back two days before they passed. It was the only action that could get them to calm down and nod off to sleep. Though the task may sound easy enough to do, I encourage you to attempt to give someone a backrub for eight hours while simultaneously assisting other patients and the nurse of your ward. It’s not as easy as it seems. That night flew by in a blur but what I do remember is the calm I saw in my patient’s face in the early hours of the morning, just from giving them a backrub. What I have learned since that night is there are no other healthcare professionals out there who have the time or patience at 2 a.m. in the morning to comfort a patient by giving them a very long backrub.

I know there are other nursing assistants out there who have similar stories. They are individuals who work behind the scenes to make sure supplies are stocked; patients are well fed and comfortable; and nurses are being supported. Surprisingly, many nursing assistants do this for a little more than minimum wage. Though I wish I could give all of you a million dollar raise for what you do, I can’t. Instead, I want to take a moment to thank all of you for the service and care you give your patients. Give yourself a hug for me and take time to care for yourself today. I appreciate the work you do and I have a notion many others around you do too.


Take care,