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Hospice News for the Week of 10/27/2020

HOSPICE PATIENT REFERRAL SITE IMPACTS HOSPICE EXPERIENCE   The site from where patients are referred to hospice tends to make a difference in their care. Findings from the Oregon State University College of Pharmacy offer information about the referral site for hospice, and call the findings “an important step toward improving the care experiences of […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 10/20/2020

PERSON-CENTERED HEALTH INFORMED BY CARE AT END OF LIFE~~ONE HOSPICE’S EFFORTS   The National Quality Forum (NQF) and the Institute of Medline have each called, in separate reports, for improving person-centered and harmless healthcare. Specifically, the NQF report, “The Care We Need: Driving Better Health Outcomes for People and Communities,” calls for reorienting “the system […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 10-06-2020

MEDPAC IDENTIFIES CONCERNS WITH HOSPICE PAYMENTS   MedPAC, in their October 1 meeting, address concerns related to the aggregate payment level for hospices and for a payment system that they believe favors longer hospice stays. They also identify “unusual utilization patterns” among some hospices. The presentation at the meeting centered on discussing these concerns and […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 9/29/2020

ORGANIZATIONAL EFFORTS NEEDED TO MITIGATE BURNOUT ON HOSPICE CARE TEAMS   A pre-pandemic study published by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health examines workplace perceptions among interdisciplinary hospice care workers. The study employed focus groups and a semi-structured interview to evaluate nurses, managers, social workers, chaplains, hospice aides, support staff, and physicians. […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 9/22/2020

COMPASSION & CHOICES ADDRESSES RACIAL DISPARITIES IN END-OF-LIFE CARE   It is important to consider the role race plays in end-of-life care and decisions. Particularly in this moment, in which we are experiencing a global pandemic and racial upheaval in our country, we must acknowledge the race-based disparities in our healthcare system. “Hispanics and people […]

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Hospice News for the week of 9/15/2020

INTERVENTION IMPROVES COMMUNICATION SCORES ON HOSPICE PROVIDER TEAM   For the first time, Medicare is providing results of consumer surveys of hospice care quality through Hospice Compare. These surveys, called Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers & Systems (CAHPS), are sent to hospice patients’ primary caregiver after death. A study published by Journal of Hospice & […]

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Hospice News for the week of 9/8/2020

PROPUBLICA EXAMINES HOSPITAL’S DISMISSAL PRACTICES DURING COVID-19   Sarah Johnson was 86 years old when admitted to Ochsner hospital in New Orleans with COVID-19. Less than 24 hours later, she was dismissed to her home to receive hospice care. ProPublica’s article, “Sent Home to Die,” explores Johnson’s end-of-life journey, as well as the practices at […]

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Weekly Hospice News for the Week of 9/1/2020

RACIAL DISPARITIES CONTINUE IN HOSPICE CARE Even as hospice utilization continues to increase, “racial disparities in the use of hospice care and the intensity of end-of-life treatment remain,” reports a JAMA article. The study, focused on better understanding of differences in the hospice experiences of Black and White patients, finds that Black patients are “significantly […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 8/25/2020

NHPCO’S “FACTS AND FIGURES” ANNUAL REPORT PROVIDES INFORMATION ON HOSPICE DATA   NHPCO’s annual report on “Facts and Figures” examines numerous areas of concern and importance to hospices. The press release on the publication quotes NHPCO’s President and CEO Edo Banach saying, “A significant concern for us at NHPCO continues to be the number of […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 8/18/2020

HHS OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL ISSUES TOP UNIMPLEMENTED RECOMMENDATIONS; THREE WITHIN THE TOP 10 PERTAIN TO HOSPICE   The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) posted its 2020 report on the top 25 unimplemented recommendations for reducing fraud, waste, and abuse in HHS programs. These come as the result of OIG audits and evaluations. They […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 8/12/2020

HOSPICE RESPITE CARE RELIEF ACT WOULD PROVIDE “A NECESSARY BREAK” FOR CAREGIVERS   Introduced by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), the COVID-19 Hospice Respite Care Relief Act of 2020 would provide further flexibilities to respite care outside of inpatient settings. “The existing limitations on Medicare’s hospice respite benefit have made […]

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HOSPICE RESPITE CARE RELIEF ACT WOULD PROVIDE “A NECESSARY BREAK” FOR CAREGIVERS   Introduced by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), the COVID-19 Hospice Respite Care Relief Act of 2020 would provide further flexibilities to respite care outside of inpatient settings. “The existing limitations on Medicare’s hospice respite benefit have made […]

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NAHC CALLS ON NATIONAL NURSING HOME COMMISSION TO ADDRESS CONCERNS ABOUT PROVISION OF HOSPICE   As the COVID-19 public health emergency continues, The National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) is calling on leaders to assure that residents of nursing homes maintain access to hospice care. CMS, NAHC says, named in June an independent […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 7-21-2020

QUESTIONING THE VALUE OF ADVANCE CARE PLANNING   In a note from the editor of the Journal of Palliative Medicine (JPM), R. Sean Morrison, MD, shares his questions about the value of advance care planning. His writing stems from his reaction to the article “Impact of Advance Directives on Outcomes and Charges in Elderly Trauma […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 7/14/2020

PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF ADVANCE CARE PLANNING, PALLIATIVE CARE, AND HOSPICE CARE EXAMINED IN RESEARCH REVIEW   Access to palliative care, hospice care, and advance care planning (ACP) has expanded and is wider than it used to be. However, public perception of these services is still often found to be inaccurate, possibly accounting for lower enrollment […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 07/07/2020

EXPERTS OFFER ADVICE ON DISCUSSING  A COVID-19 DEATH WITH BEREAVED CHILDREN   Communicating with children about the gravity of the coronavirus crisis can be difficult. For adults, the enormity of the pandemic can be hard to grasp. For children it’s even harder. Parents may be tempted to shelter their children from the truth of the […]

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Regulatory Updates for the Week of 07/02/2020

Federal News and Information Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) July 2020 JM Home Health and Hospice Medicare Advisory was released.  To access, go to:  https://www.palmettogba.com/Palmetto/Providers.Nsf/files/July_2020_HHH_Medicare_Advisory_Final.pdf/$File/July_2020_HHH_Medicare_Advisory_Final.pdf.   Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Nursing Home Visitation This NF FAQ answers questions regarding when to reopen facilities to visitation, “compassionate care” situations, and factors to consider […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 6/30/2020

HPNA RELEASES POSITION STATEMENT ON MEDICALLY ADMINISTERED NUTRITION AND HYDRATION   The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA) recently released a position statement on medically administered nutrition and hydration (MANH). In it, they assert that it is “medically, ethically, and legally acceptable for patients with serious illness or their surrogate decision-makers to choose to initiate, […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 6/23/2020

PALLIATIVE CARE DOCTORS FIND BENEFITS TO TELEHEALTH DURING THE PANDEMIC   As the pandemic surged in cities like New York, palliative care teams stepped in to provide end-of-life support for COVID-19 patients. Necessitated by safe distancing measures, much of this support was moved to phone and video call alternatives. They have discovered that in many […]

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Hospice News for the Week of 6/16/2020

NHPCO SUGGESTS PERMANENT STATUS FOR REGULATORY CHANGES ENACTED DURING THE PANDEMIC—AND CALLS FOR OTHER CHANGES   President and CEO of NHPCO Edo Banach penned a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CMS Administrator Seema Verma. The letter responds to Executive Order 13924, in which regulatory recommendations are proposed for economic relief after the COVID-19 […]

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