Are you Registered to Vote?

Today is National Register to Vote Day! Help hospice  be a voice at the polls and vote in legislators who support the Care Planning Act, PCHETA, the Hospice Care Access Improvement Act, and more!

Additionally, we know all of our Hospice Advocates pay close attention to the legislative battles in the Federal government, but many of the decisions that affect medical practice, reimbursement, patient access, and more are also fought on the state level. State and local elections get historically low turn-out, as do non-Presidential year elections, so if you have ever felt like your vote didn’t count….it certainly counts a lot more when a majority of other people are staying home! Make sure you get to those less-popular election days, and take today to make sure that your voter registration is up to date!

The Most Interesting Hospice Clinician in the World….


CTC Meme


We are counting down to the Clinical Team Conference in October in Grapevine, Texas! Our own Manager of Grassroots Advocacy, Tony Kudner, and Judi Lund Person, Vice President, Regulatory, Leadership, and Compliance will be in attendance! Obviously the conference touches on more than just advocacy and regulatory issues, but there are several offerings on that topic:

Regulatory & Compliance, Quality Assessment

Additionally, the Regulatory Queen Jennifer Kennedy will be holding Office Hours: make an appointment and get your most difficult regulatory questions answered in person! You might even get her autograph!


Have a Regulatory topic that you don’t see in the list of sessions at this year’s CTC? Let us know! We know a guy who knows a guy who works with Jennifer Kennedy….we may just be able to get you an answer. (Or you can just email her).

Highlighting the “P” in #HPM

#HPM chat this week focused on Palliative Care— an area that needs more attention than it gets. Hospice is type of palliative care, but palliative care has much wider application than just at the end-of-life.

Judith Skretny, Director of Palliative Care at NHPCO, is working in conjunction with the MJHS Institute for Innovation in Palliative Care to present a webinar series on palliative care that includes all members of the team and addresses some key issues. Webinars offer 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™, 1.0 Nursing CE credits and/or its equivalent according to the discipline.

Additionally, HAN is monitoring the progress of the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (H.R. 3119), also known as PCHETA. The bill was introduced by Rep. Eliot Engel, NY 16, and currently, it has 8 Cosponsors:

  1. Emanuel Cleaver, MD 05
  2. Tom Reed, NY 23
  3. Greg Walden, OR 02
  4. Reid Ribble, WI 08
  5. Matthew Cartwright, PA 17
  6. Mike Coffman, CO 06
  7. Christopher Gibson, NY 19
  8. Chellie Pingree, ME 01

Finally, at the upcoming Clinical Team Conference and Pediatric IntensiveNHPCO is offering two specific sessions on palliative care:

  1. Two Day Intensive Training: Pediatric Palliative Care Training
  2. Single Day Class: Leading the Way to Community-Based Palliative Care Success

We need to hear from you, our grassroots activists, about your needs in palliative care: Do you need training? Advocacy materials? What can we do for you in your palliative care programs? We are all ears, so please let us know in the comments!

ICD-10 Countdown!

Who doesn’t love a good countdown clock, right? Even CMS has a countdown clock for the implementation date for ICD-10!

In case you don’t stay up late reading the latest medical billing news, here’s a quick recap of what’s going on with ICD-10. ICD-10, or the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD), is a coding system composed of over 14,000 codes for diseases, injuries, and other factors influencing a patient’s health. These codes will replace the ICD-9 coding system, which is 36 years old.

All claims with dates of service of October 1, 2015 or later must be submitted with a valid ICD-10 code; ICD-9 codes will no longer be accepted for these dates of service. For hospice providers, this change most directly applies to diagnosis coding on claim forms. On October 1, 2015 and going forward, a claim cannot contain both ICD-9 codes and ICD-10 codes. Claims containing ICD-9 codes for services on or after October 1, 2015:

  • ​will be Returned to Provider (RTP) and not processed.
  • must be re-submitted by the provider with the appropriate ICD-10 code.

So there’s a lot depending on attention to detail and accuracy in utilizing ICD-10. Need some resources? Luckily for NHPCO members, our friends down the hall in the Regulatory Department have collected a wealth of information to help hospice providers transition to ICD-10. Check it out for all of your ICD-10 needs! The Regulatory team has also highlighted a webinar on transitioning to ICD-10, lead by NHPCO consultant Jean Acevedo, LHRM, CPC, CHC, CENTC. The webinar will be held this Thursday, September 17, 2015.

Advocacy Out West!

Oregon2 Oregon1

I’m out in Oregon today, speaking with awesome hospice providers at the Oregon Hospice Association’s Professional Practices Exchange conference. It’s been an invigorating time- I love anytime I can spend with hospice professionals. I took some time to give some legislative and policy context to the work they’re doing every day. We talked a little about the new routine home care rate, and about what the (foggy) crystal ball could tell us about what the future might hold for our community.

I presented right after NHPCO’s fantastic regulatory and compliance director Jennifer Kennedy (a tough act to follow!) It was helpful to give some context to her presentation around the FY2016 Final Rule. We also talked through some successful advocacy strategies, and the importance of the committee structure to the policy making process (and Oregon’s outsized role in that process).

HAN loves to travel- if you’re interested in us presenting in your state, or even hosting a custom webinar, drop us a line at We’ll get you the resources you need to be the best possible advocates you can be!