Hospice Compare Goes Live: Hospice Quality Data Now Available to Public

On August 16, 2017, the Hospice Compare website went live.  Hospice Compare is a result of a provision in the Affordable Care Act that required established procedures for making hospice quality data available to the public. Consumers are able to search for all Medicare-approved hospice providers that serve their city or ZIP Code and then find agencies, along with provider quality information. Providers should review their demographic information on Hospice Compare to ensure it is correct. In the event that your demographic data is not correct in Hospice Compare, contact your CASPER/ASPEN and Regional Office coordinator with updated information

NHPCO Members can visit the Hospice Quality Reporting page of the NHPCO website for the most up-to-date information.

Stronger Together: A Message from Edo Banach

The last few days have been trying ones for our country. The events and protests that began in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend and are echoing across the nation have been difficult and hit close to home for many of us. As a Jew and the grandson of two holocaust survivors, messages of intolerance and hate associated with recent protestors are hard to hear and understand in the year 2017. Additionally, staff members at NHPCO attended the University of Virginia and have ties to the Charlottesville community, as do I, since my wife grew up close to that city which has become a focus of great debate in recent days.

This year, while we mark 50 years of hospice since the creation of St. Christopher’s in London and the pioneering work of Dame Cicely Saunders, we also note that Dr. Martin Luther King died almost 50 years ago; the wounds of WWII and Selma are still raw; the protests of Stonewall still reverberate for many who continue to feel disenfranchised in our nation.

As hospice and palliative care professionals and advocates, it is part of our philosophy of care to honor and celebrate the dignity of every individual. While events of this weekend are not connected to hospice per se, the approach we bring to the compassionate care we provide has the capacity to be a unifying force in the communities in which we serve. As a unified provider community, we find our strength is our ability to engage in respectful discourse that recognizes a wide range of perspectives.

These are the times that try and hopefully define the noble vision of our republic. There is no room for hate, bigotry, or racism in America. I hope that we will all redouble our efforts to engage in constructive dialogue, to meet hate with love, and to continue moving our country forward in a positive direction.

As we know so well, at the end of life, we are all simply people with hopes and wishes who share a unified humanity. Thank you for what you do; I am proud to work alongside you to help advance the care of the countless patients and families that you serve with compassion, dignity and respect every single day.

Edo Banach, JD

President and CEO

NHPCO Webinar: Hot Topics in Regulatory and Quality


This year of activity on the regulatory and quality fronts includes possibilities for future rulemaking in clinical documentation for patients referred to hospice and possible additional quality measures for hospice providers. In addition, this year marks a chance for hospice providers to submit a list of regulations that increase regulatory burden for consideration by the Administration and by CMS.  Join this Webinar for an in-depth discussion on the Final Hospice Wage Index Rule for FY 2018. Faculty will elaborate on the final rule’s referral documentation process, proposed new quality measures, Hospice Compare and the HEART assessment tool. In addition, you will hear about the latest updates from CMS and learn how the HQRP requirements for 2018 affect you. This Webinar features NHPCO’s staff experts who will provide you with the most accurate information and answer your burning questions.

Webinar Objectives

At the completion of this Webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the FY2018 payment increase, rates and cap increase
  • Discuss data analysis for hospice payment reform – what does CMS see?
  • List the issues with referral source documentation and how CMS finalized this concern
  • Identify some of the regulatory and compliance issues ahead from CMS

August 22, 2017
2:00 – 3:00 pm ET

CE/CME Information

Register today
Member   |   Non-member


Jennifer Kennedy, MA, BSN, RN, CHC

Jennifer is the Senior Director of Regulatory and Quality for the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization and has been with the organization since 2006. She has 30 years of experience as a leader and nurse in diverse healthcare settings and has worked in hospice and palliative care for the last 18 years. She has a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, a dual master’s degree in health education and case management, and will complete her doctoral degree in health care education and policy in 2017. Jennifer is a certified compliance professional and legal nurse consultant. She speaks at national and state conferences, writes articles for trade journals, contributes to health care publisher materials, develops education and resources for hospice and palliative care providers, and serves on the ANA’s national palliative nursing task group.

Judi Lund Person, MPH, CHC

Judi Lund Person has been the Vice President, Regulatory and Compliance for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization since July 2002. Prior to joining the team at NHPCO, she served for 22 years as the President and CEO of The Carolinas Center for Hospice and End of Life Care. A recognized national leader in the field of hospice and end-of-life care, Lund Person works with hospice providers on regulatory and compliance issues, audits, and fraud and abuse in hospice. Lund Person spearheaded the creation and launch of NHPCO’s Quality Partners, a national initiative designed to build organizational excellence and improve hospice and palliative care delivery and outcomes. Lund Person lends her regulatory expertise as a key contact with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Food and Drug Administration, Drug Enforcement Administration, and many other federal agencies. She also represents hospice and palliative care with many national organizations, including the National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care. She graduated with honors with a BA degree in Sociology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Masters degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also a certified compliance professional (CHC).

Carol Spence, PhD

Carol Spence is Vice President of Quality and Research at NHPCO and is responsible for NHPCO performance measurement development and implementation activities in addition to all other NHPCO research activities. Carol has many years of experience as a hospice nurse. She served on the National Board for Certification of Hospice and Palliative Nurses for six years and is past chair of the Examination Development Committee for the certification examination for advanced practice hospice and palliative nurses. Dr. Spence has experience in research design, and in developing, implementing and managing field research projects. She holds a doctoral degree from the University of Maryland School of Nursing and a Master of Science degree in mental health nursing.

Nurse: NHPCO is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

NHPCO designates this live activity for a maximum of 1 contact hours. Nurses should claim only the contact hours commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Accredited status by ANCC refers only to continuing nursing education and does not imply endorsement of any commercial product discussed in conjunction with this activity.

Physician: The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

NHPCO designates this live activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Certificate of Participation for Non-physician Healthcare Professionals: For participants* whose disciplines are other than counselor, nurse and physician, you may request a Certificate of Participation for Non-physician Healthcare Professionals to submit to your accrediting bodies/licensing boards for continuing education credit. This certificate will indicate the Webinar was certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s) TM. It is the responsibility of participants to submit the certificates to their accrediting bodies/licensing boards for approval. Unfortunately, NHPCO cannot guarantee its acceptance. To receive this certificate, you must complete all CE/CME requirements and indicate your desire to receive this certificate on the evaluation form.

*including bereavement professionals, finance professionals, physician assistants, social workers, spiritual care givers, etc.

Register today
Member   |   Non-member

FY2018 Hospice Wage Index Final Rule Announced

On August 1, 2017, the Federal Register posted the FY2018 Hospice Wage Index Final Rule for public inspection. Download the FY2018 Hospice Wage Index Final Rule (public inspection version – PDF). The final rule includes a 1% rate increase for FY2018 and sets the cap amount at $28,689.04. There is a discussion on the source of clinical information to determine hospice eligibility, based on comments submitted. In the quality reporting section, there is discussion about priority areas for future measures, more details on the development of a Hospice Evaluation and Assessment Reporting Tool (HEART), and updates on the implementation of Hospice Compare in August 2017.

NHPCO will produce state/county rate charts with the final FY2018 wage index values and rates for all levels of care. Visit the CMS website to access the FY2018 final wage index charts.

NHPCO members can access additional analysis and information on the NHPCO Website. 

HAN Monthly Update

July has been a busy month in the world of health care policy. To make sure you are staying up on the latest hospice and palliative care news, take a minute and enjoy these articles:

The 2017 Advocacy Intensive  was held July 17th  and 18th!

Thank you to all who attended this wonderful event. Because of your participation, 350 meetings were held on Capitol Hill and 25 Members of Congress have cosponsored hospice and palliative care-related legislation. Congratulations! Make sure you send your follow up emails, and remind your Members of Congress to cosponsor our legislation if they haven’t yet.

Watch CEO Edo Banach’s opening address at the Advocacy Intensive

Click here to learn how to use social media to keep in touch with your Senators and

Virtual Hill Week Has Been Extended! 
Support your colleagues who came to DC and call your Members of Congress to ask for their cosponsorship of our legislation! These short calls have a real impact on alerting Members of Congress to how much support there really is for our legislation!
Click here to access our call module

Learn more about what to say during your call

Take a closer look at our supported legislation before you call!

News from DC

25 New cosponsors to hospice and palliative care related legislation!

CMS Oks Electronic Filing of NOEs

Intern Shout Out:

We had three wonderful interns helping us out this summer. Unfortunately, all of them are leaving this week to pursue bright, promising futures in communications, health care, and palliative care. Here are their farewells to you:

Hannah Winters- Communications Intern

Libby Cronican- Public Policy Intern

Kevin Curwick- Access and Philanthropy Intern

Looking Ahead:               

Your Members of Congress will be at home in your state in August. Check out our Advocacy Toolkit for invitation templates, videos on how to host a site visit, and more!

Good Reads:

Have Their Backs

100 Miles an Hour

Hospice: A Historical Perspective is Now on Display!

Know that your dedication and efforts in advocating for hospice and palliative care makes our world go round. We would love to hear from you about your experiences advocating for hospice and palliative care this summer at Virtual Hill Week or the Advocacy Intensive.

Please do not hesitate if you have any questions, comments or concerns. You can find us at info@nhpcohan.org, on Facebook and Twitter, and of course on our website.

I hope everyone is enjoying the remainder of their summer!