NewsLine - September 2010 - (Page 3)

A Message From Don Developing the Care Continuum—Part 2 A t last month’s conference on “Developing the Care Continuum,” a number of members told me how helpful it was to devote an entire conference to this increasingly important topic. Learning about expanding the services now being offered by many providers, along with the data that support select expansion and diversification, made all the difference. As one attendee admitted, “now I get it.” For those of you who were unable to attend, let me share a few valuable take aways—and a new tool that will help you begin what may seem like ‘far too big of an undertaking.’ First—You Don’t Have to Do It All Hope HealthCare Services, based in Fort Myers, Florida, has been one of the frontrunners in utilizing its hospice skills in the broader community. During the Friday morning plenary, its president/CEO, Samira Beckwith, who also serves on the NHPCO board, made a simple yet crucial point: “You don’t have to do it all. You can just do one thing.” A New Tool Can Help You may be thinking “But which service?” To help you answer this question, NHPCO has developed a continuum of care assessment tool. This tool will walk you through an eight-step process to help determine which non-hospice services may be lacking in your community and might be worth further exploration. Conference attendees are beta testing the assessment, and we expect it will be ready in December. But Why Now—Amid So Many Other Changes? The nation’s healthcare community is now recognizing palliative care as a very valuable and cost-effective component of quality care—something we’ve always known. Data also show that it can increase hospice admissions and lengths of stay, especially when hospice providers have developed relationships with patients and families earlier in an illness. In fact, at the conference’s opening plenary, Dr. Randall Krakauer shared results from a three-year study which Aetna conducted on its Compassionate Care Program. The study showed that providing specialized case management and palliative support to terminally ill patients significantly increased hospice admissions (by 40%) and length of stay (by 12 to 15 days). What a tragedy if hospice providers, who have the skills to provide palliative care, fail to step up and fill this emerging need? I believe that every hospice provider should offer non-hospice services—and it is an NHPCO priority to support that work. In addition to the assessment, our educational programming will continue to provide guidance and data from the field—including some outstanding sessions being planned for April 2011 MLC. J. Donald Schumacher President/CEO NewsLine 3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NewsLine - September 2010

Transitions: Challenging the Traditional Healthcare Mindset
A Message From Don
Leadership Training in This Economy? You Bet
Circle of Life Award Winners
Program Spotlight: Hospice of the Comforter
NASW Congress: Social Workers Look to the Future
People and Places
PSAs for Cable or Television
NHPCO’s Upcoming Educational Offerings
This Year’s Hospice Month Quilt is Here!
FHSSA’s Quarterly Newsletter

NewsLine - September 2010