NCP Guidelines: Domain 1 - Structure and Processes of Care
December 8, 2018
Is 2015 (Finally) the Year of Palliative Care?
January 2, 2015
Last year in early January I wrote a blog outlining survival strategies for 2014, making this the 2nd annual New Year's blog from the kb group. Where did the year go?
The field of hospice and palliative care witnessed several potentially transformative events in 2014, including:
The publication of the IOM Dying in America report
Implementation of new Part D requirements for hospice
The announcement of NHPCO's Moments of Life: Made Possible by Hospice campaign
The selection of Four Seasons Hospice as a CMS CMMI innovation grant
The publication of the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) Payer-Provider Partnership toolkit
Implementation of the Hospice Item Set
Planning grants awarded by the California Healthcare Foundation for partnerships between payers and providers to develop delivery and payment models for community-based palliative care
Passage of the Hospice Impact Act requiring more frequent hospice surveys
The Washington Post's series of articles on hospice (to see all the articles, visit the landing page for the series)
And to end the year, the Huffington Post published their second investigative piece on December 30th regarding the lack of serious hospice sanctions
The growth in hospital-based palliative care remains impressive, as CAPC has reported. Yet we have not seen the emergence of a sustainable, replicable payment model for community-based palliative care. Given the praise and positive press that palliative care has received, access to palliative care has grown more slowly than many had hoped.
Is 2015 the year palliative care will gain traction outside of hospitals?
CAPC is switching to a membership model, making it the first and only membership organization dedicated exclusively to palliative care in the U.S.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is expected to announce the hospices selected to participate in the Medicare Care Choices Model demonstration in January
New legislation will be implemented in California requiring Medi-Cal to establish standards for managed care plans to ensure delivery of palliative care to beneficiaries
NHPCO is hosting a virtual event devoted to palliative care
CMS will begin paying physicians for chronic care management http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/834270 which could result in partnership opportunities for palliative care providers
What You Can Do
Pay attention to emerging national efforts to improve palliative care
Consider joining an organization that can help you learn more about and implement community-based palliative care such as CAPC, NHPCO, the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California (CCCC) Patient Quality of Life Coalition or the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care
Participate in the hospice and palliative medicine #HPM tweet chats Wednesdays at 9pm ET
Follow national experts on social media and subscribe to blogs such as Pallimed and GeriPal
Educate yourself and your staff regarding the discipline and business of palliative care
Attend free events such as the upcoming webinar What We Have and What We Need: Current community-based palliative care capacity and resources for bridging the gap hosted by the CCCC
Invest in palliative care specific professional development for yourself and/or your staff
Learn about the business aspects of palliative care. Kathleen Kerr teaches an online course that is a bargain, especially considering all the handouts included in this course.
Devote time in leadership meetings to read articles and reports to learn about and discuss national, state and local trends
Ensure you understand the ways in which the CMS Readmission Reduction Program and Value-based Purchasing provide incentives for palliative care
Develop short- and long-term strategies for delivering palliative care
Utilize the collection of free tools available from the CCCC as a starting point to identify the value of palliative care in different settings, the opportunities for community-based palliative care, and several calculators.
Identify potential partners in alignment with your palliative care model. Partners can include payers, acute or long-term care providers and/or physician practices. Utilize the resources mentioned above to engage partners as referral sources, care partners and/or payers. Stratis Health has free resources, including contract language.
Develop financial models outlining your start up and ongoing costs and estimated revenue
Integrate palliative care into your strategic plan
Developing and implementing a sound strategy and financially sustainable business plan are both time consuming and complex undertakings. The best strategies are based upon a solid foundation of knowledge, a committed and diverse team and the patience to think through contingencies so that you and your team are prepared for the challenges that implementation brings.
Many organizations have had palliative care on their “to do list” for years. If 2015 is the year of palliative care, doing nothing while others in your community embrace palliative care could place the future of your organization in jeopardy.