CAPC News Bites

CAPC News Bites, What you need to know this week

Patients Turn to Palliative Care for Relief from Serious Illness

Palliative care has received the national spotlight this week in an article in the Wall Street Journal that points to its steadfast growth across the United States. The story also underlines how patients and families are benefitting from what this medical specialty has to offer. Click here to read the full article.

Featured among patients, program leaders and advocates is Dr. Diane E. Meier, Director of CAPC. Dr. Meier discusses how palliative care can be implemented at any age or any stage of a serious illness. She offers the following example:

“For a 24-year-old with acute leukemia, there is a 70% chance of survival, but the treatment is physically devastating, and that suffering is remediable with palliative care,” says Dr. Meier.

Also featured in the article is palliative care patient Amy Berman, Senior Program Officer at the Hartford Foundation, who was diagnosed with Stage IV inflammatory breast cancer in 2010. Since choosing to receive palliative care, Amy has been enjoying a productive and fulfilling life. This past July, CAPC produced a video that tells Amy’s uplifting story in her own words.

More Hospitals Embrace Palliative Care

Tanya Rivero, host of Wall Street Journal Video’s Lunch Break, recently sat down with Dr. Diane E. Meier and Wall Street Journal Assistant Managing Editor, Laura Landro to discuss the current state of palliative care. This video is worth watching because it clearly explains how palliative can benefit patients, how it helps hospitals reduce emergency room visits, how it is covered by healthcare plans, and when it is appropriate for patients and families. This video is also worth sharing with those who don’t yet have a full handle on what palliative care is. Click here to watch and share.

Season’s Greetings!

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Follow CAPC

In addition to this palliative care blog, you can also follow CAPC’s Facebook page and Twitter page for up-to-the-minute news, palliative care research findings, original videos and more!

This Quarter in Health Reform: Fall 2014 Roundup

By Emily Warner

Greetings, dear readers, and holiday cheer! We’ve reached once again the best time of the year: Friday.

You know, ‘round this time of year, I like to play fun games of “did you know.”

“Did you know,” I ask colleagues, “that Christmas is next week?” “Did you know,” I probe further, “that that’s only 5 days from now?”  “Did you know,” I portend “that 2-day shipping to California costs $47?!”

It’s a fun game. For instance:

  1. Did you know that CMS released the measures to be considered by the Measures Application Partnership (MAP) a few weeks ago? For those of you who don’t refer to this time of year as “MAP season,” each year CMS considers new measures to include into its various quality reporting and incentive programs. However, before making any decisions, it needs to get input from a consensus-based entity.  That entity is the NQF’s MAP.  MAP reviews these measures in December and January and makes its recommendations at the end of January. This year, CMS actually included a few measures related to palliative care, including “Hospice and Palliative Care—Treatment Preferences” (for PPS-Exempt Cancer Hospitals), “Adult Kidney Disease: Referral to Hospice” (for the Medicare Shared Savings Program),  and “ICU Length of Stay and ICU mortality” (for the hospital inpatient reporting program).  CAPC supports, at a minimum, the first measure, and will take the opportunity to comment on the MAP reports at the end of January.
  1. Did you know that you might just be on the verge of being $42.60 richer? The Medicare Physician Fee Schedule was released last month, and it includes new codes for complex care management of patients with two or more conditions. Practices that meet certain criteria will be able to bill for non-face-to-face care management monthly. This, in tandem with the transitional care management codes that started in 2013, has contributed to making geriatrics and family practice two of the top four “winners” of the physician fee schedule. The gold-star winner? Chiropractic.  I am sure physicians everywhere greet this news enthusiastically.  Also included in the final rule were comments that Medicare may look at including codes for advance care planning in the future. If you have any thoughts about this, Medicare invites you to comment on the final rule by December 30.
  1. Did you know that California passed a law that has a good shot at improving access to palliative care for all people enrolled in Medi-Cal Managed Care? The law, passed in September, requires the Department of Health Care Services to create standards for palliative care “to ensure delivery of palliative care services” through Medi-Cal managed care. Pallimed has a great post that will tell you more.
  1. Did you know that I just deleted about 1,400 words on King v. Burwell? This case, for which the Supreme Court granted cert in November, challenges the IRS’s policy of providing subsidies to low-income individuals who purchase insurance on both federally- and state-run exchanges. The ACA, by its plain language, provides for subsidies to purchase insurance on state-run exchanges only. The Court will likely decide the case in June, and at that time, the subsidies for over 4 million enrollees could stop.  This could have broad impact on individuals, hospitals and payers, though where the dust would actually settle is hard to say, as I suspect at least some states might open their own exchanges to preserve their citizens’ access to subsidies.  Regardless, this is an important lawsuit, and we will likely be seeing a lot of forecasting in the coming months.
  1. Did you know that one of my favorite parts of the holidays is the end-of year listicles? Here are my top 3:
    1. Top Healthcare Stories of 2014. Much to Aunt Myrna’s surprise, the riveting account of her bunion surgery is not included.
    2. Top 5 Health Plan Developments of 2014. I particularly applaud this listicle’s use of verbs.
    3. 5 Big Hospital CFO Concerns for 2015. [Spoiler Alert] They involve money.

And finally, did you know that the most honorable of mentions goes to Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, who is, I am sure, on the eve of pushing through a sweeping law establishing a single-payer healthcare system in New York State? This dazzling achievement, dulled only by the fact that it will never come to pass, shines brightly against Vermont’s dark abandonment of same. Way to keep the fire alive, New York.

~

And that’s it, my good friends; it’s time I depart, to type and to write and to fill up flip charts. But before I leave thee, good tidings I send: to all a good lunch, and a lovely weekend.

Happy holidays!

CAPC News Bites

CAPC News Bites, What you need to know this week

CAPC Membership Transition Will Take Place January 15, 2015

Beginning on January 15, 2015, CAPC member institutions will have unlimited access to all CAPC tools, training and hands-on technical assistance. At the same time, CAPC will be launching its new, user-friendly website.

To preview CAPC’s online curriculum, also launching in January, click here. The full roster of courses includes tracks on Pain Management, Communication, Palliative Care in the Community and Operations. CAPC courses will be available to the entire staff of each CAPC member institution. The courses can be accessed on computers, smart phones or tablets and all courses are linked to free CME/CEU credits.

Three Weeks Left to Lock in 2014 Membership Rates for Two Years

If you become a CAPC member organization in 2014, you will save for two years. Your 2014 rates will be locked in for both 2015 and 2016. See which rates apply to your institution by clicking here. For questions, contact CAPC to speak to a membership representative.

Begin Preparing your Presentation Proposals for CAPC National Seminar 2015

In mid-December, CAPC will be seeking submissions from speakers interested in presenting at the 2015 CAPC National Seminar. Only abstracts submitted through CAPC’s online submission system will be considered. All abstracts will be reviewed by a panel of leading palliative care experts. Click here to learn more.

New Palliative Care Collaborative Launched

The Hospice and Palliative Care Association of New York State and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network have teamed up with other organizations to form the New York State Palliative Care Collaborative. The Albany-based collaborative aims to build a grassroots network of individuals, families and health care providers for education about palliative care for all New Yorkers diagnosed with a serious illness.

“I think the thing is to make health providers aware that, and I know many of them are, but to make them realize that it’s very, very important that they are not just treating the illness, but treating the patients,” says Michael Burgess, New York government relations director of the American Cancer Society. Click here to read the full article.

Integrating Palliative Care into a Health System: A Continuing Conversation (Part 2)

The second installment of the Continuing Conversation series from the inaugural Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium, has been released. In this installment, Charles F. von Gunten, MD, PhD, Vice President of Medical Affairs, Hospice, and Palliative Care at OhioHealth Kobacker House, addresses questions posed throughout the Symposium regarding the complexity of systems integration. Click here to read this informative Q & A.

Part 1 of the series features responses by Timothy J. Moynihan, MD, Hospice Medical Director at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester.

Follow CAPC

In addition to this palliative care blog, you can also follow CAPC’s Facebook page and Twitter page for up-to-the-minute news, palliative care research findings, original videos and more! Subscribe to CAPC’s new podcast channel to listen to stories that cover pertinent palliative care issues.

 

The Palliative Pulse, November 2014

Preview of CAPC’s New Online Palliative Care Curriculum Now Available

The new CAPC online curriculum, launching in January, is designed to provide an integrated approach to palliative care skill-building for both palliative care specialists and all frontline clinicians. In advance of the launch, CAPC has released two course demos. Click the images below to get started.

opioid final

 

Hospital FinalThe full roster of courses includes tracks on Pain Management, Communication, Palliative Care in the Community and Operations. CAPC courses will be available to the entire staff of each CAPC member institution. The courses can be accessed on computers, smart phones or tablets and all courses are linked to free CME/CEU credits. You will also have the opportunity to obtain CAPC Designation in both Pain Management and Communication Skills. Click here for more information and a full list of membership benefits. To learn more about the benefits of membership, please call 212-201-2674.

Sights and Sounds of the 2014 CAPC National Seminar

Palliative care specialists and advocates, as well as program, hospital and health system leaders, flocked to Orlando this month for the 2014 CAPC National Seminar. The three-day conference, generating more attendees than ever, covered the full spectrum of palliative care delivery including community-based palliative care. This month, we highlight some of the key moments of the event.

In this video, attendees detail why the CAPC National Seminar was valuable to their palliative care teams.

 

The CAPC Seminar in Photos

Seminar 1

Diane E. Meier, MD, CAPC Director, (left), kicked off the event with a plenary presentation that highlighted the enormous growth of palliative care in recent years. She also identified the palliative care financing opportunities that have been created by health care reform. A young professional looks on intently.

Seminar 2

Other plenary speakers included Sister Carol Keehan, DC, RN, MS, (top left), David Weissman, MD (top right), Graeme Rocker, MD (bottom left), and former Senator William H. Frist (bottom right).

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David Weissman was also awarded the 2014 CAPC Innovation Award for his many contributions to the palliative care field.

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Throughout the weekend, concurrent session presenters identified specific, mission-critical issues and offered real-world solutions. These sessions also allowed attendees the opportunity to ask pointed questions.

Seminar 3

The poster session showcased  palliative care program solutions to common problems through visuals and informal presentations.

Seminar 4

Intensive sessions and office hours gave attendees small-group discussion time with colleagues and expert faculty.

Seminar 5

Hundreds of attendees took to social media to share their reactions and favorite quotes from the weekend. The hashtag #CAPCseminar14 garnered over 4,000 unique tweets during and after the event.

seminar 9The excitement of the weekend was evident in the faces of attendees who bonded over shared experiences.

The 2015 CAPC National Seminar will be held in San Antonio, Texas November 12-14. For more information, click here.

Follow CAPC

Follow CAPC’s Facebook page and Twitter page for up-to-the-minute news, palliative care research findings, original videos and more! Subscribe to CAPC’s new podcast channel to listen to stories that cover pertinent palliative care issues.

 

 

CAPC News Bites

CAPC News BitesWhat you need to know this week

2014 CAPC Seminar Brings Palliative Care Community Together

Over 900 people gathered in Orlando, Florida this November 13-15 for the 2014 CAPC National Seminar. The event gave attendees a front row seat to hear the latest developments and advances in palliative care from experts in the field, and offered rich networking opportunities through office hours, poster sessions, concurrent presentations, and more.  The seminar also featured plenary presentations from notable speakers such as Senator William H. Frist, Sister Carol Keehan, DC, RN, MS, Diane E. Meier, MD, Graeme Rocker, MD and David Weissman, MD.

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Diane E. Meier, MD, Director of CAPC, addresses the CAPC Seminar crowd during her plenary session

 

Twitter was abuzz throughout the event with the seminar hashtag #CAPCseminar14 receiving heavy traffic.

Click here to read a review of the seminar from Pallimed’s blog. A full overview featuring sights, sounds and reactions from the event will be available Tuesday, November 25 in our monthly publication, The Palliative Pulse.

Upcoming CAPC Web Conference: A Look at Advanced Illness Services at Highmark

CAPC’s next web conference – Tuesday, December 2 at 1:30 PM ET –  is the third in a series related to payer-provider partnerships. This event will look at advanced illness services at Highmark, a national diversified health care partner service member through its businesses in health insurance, dental insurance, vision care and reinsurance. Highmark, which received the Gold Fine Award in 2013 for its Advanced Illness Services, has implemented several successful strategies for improving access to palliative care and supporting members, their families and caregivers in dealing with serious or chronic medical conditions.

This web conference will focus on two of these strategies: the Quality Blue Hospital Pay for Value Programs and the Advanced Illness Services Program. Participants will learn about how these programs developed, the key milestones achieved and some of the challenges encountered along the way. For more information and to register, click here.

Palliative Care Doctors Help Patients Cope with Illnesses

An article in Kaiser Health News spotlights the burgeoning palliative care specialty in the state of Washington. With palliative care programs in 80 percent of its hospitals, Washington ranks eighth in the nation among states in this specialty. As the article points out however, despite this growth, palliative care still faces opposition from those who misinterpret its usefulness. That may be changing as data continued to emerge to support its efficacy.

“Studies show that palliative care reduces health care spending by avoiding unnecessary treatment and getting patients out of the hospital faster. Researchers have also concluded that the care improves patient satisfaction and lengthens life,” writes Kaiser staff writer Anna Gorman. The article follows several palliative care specialists as they help patients and families cope with serious illness. In one such example, palliative care physician Melissa Bender helps a leukemia patient deal with the pain and stress caused by the illness and works directly with the patient to reach a goal of leaving the hospital to remain at home. To read the full article, click here.

How to Launch a Palliative Care Task Force Web Conference – December 10

On December 10 at 12 p.m. (PST), the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California will be hosting a free webinar on how to start a palliative care task force by working with local government. Using the model of how the San Francisco Palliative Task Force launched its initiative to meet the city’s current and future palliative care needs, this program will detail the steps it takes to build a task force within your city or county.  For more information and to register, click here.

Follow CAPC

Follow CAPC’s Facebook page and Twitter page for up-to-the-minute news, palliative care research findings, original videos and more! Subscribe to CAPC’s new podcast channel to listen to stories that cover pertinent palliative care issues.

CAPC News Bites

CAPC News Bites, What you need to know this week

Use Hashtag #CAPCseminar14 During the CAPC National Seminar

The CAPC National Seminar begins tomorrow. If you are attending, you are encouraged to Tweet your favorite quotes, pictures and discoveries throughout the event using #CAPCseminar14. For those who want to keep up with all of the seminar highlights, follow this hashtag for up-to-the-minute coverage from CAPC.

Each year, the Seminar is growing. Offering in-depth content, rich networking opportunities and one-on-one access to expert faculty, attendees learn from real-world examples of development and sustainability.  For more information on this annual event, click here.

New Curriculum Available on Integration of Palliative Care in Chronic Pediatric Disease

Scholars from the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics have launched curriculum for training diverse healthcare workers to apply palliative care principles to pediatric patients suffering from sickle cell disease and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Titled “Vision of Hope,” the curriculum uses two specific chronic conditions as case studies: sickle cell disease (SCD) and Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). All content is free and publicly available now by clicking here.

Upcoming Webinar to Focus on Outpatient Palliative Care Models

On Tuesday, November 18, the Supportive Care Coalition will be hosting a web conference on outpatient palliative care models at Mercy Palliative Care. Robert Begamini, MD, Medical Director at Mercy, will describe his team’s ambulatory palliative care service model that results in better patient symptom management, timely goals of care conversations and avoidance of unnecessary hospitalizations. Dr. Begamini will also build the business case for outpatient palliative care services and the professional resources needed to provide comprehensive palliative care services that meet patient/family needs. Registration is open to members of the Supportive Care Coalition free of charge. For more information and to register, click here.

Two-day Symposium on Innovations in Palliative Care Research, Education and Communication Comes to Indiana, November 17-18

The Mary Margaret Walther Program in Palliative Care Research and Education, part of the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, will host a two-day symposium, “Passages and Promises: Innovation in Palliative Care Research, Education and Communication,” November 17 and 18 at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis. New York Times bestselling authors Mark Nepo and Gail Sheehy will join national palliative care experts on discussions exploring the latest research for improving communication among patients, family members and clinicians in the context of palliative care and advanced cancer and other advanced diseases. Click here to learn more.

Follow CAPC

Follow CAPC’s Facebook page and Twitter page for up-to-the-minute news, palliative care research findings, original videos and more! Subscribe to CAPC’s new podcast channel to listen to stories that cover pertinent palliative care issues.

CAPC News Bites

CAPC News Bites, What you need to know this week

Get Social During the CAPC National Seminar, November 13-15

Heading to the CAPC National Seminar in Orlando this year? Tweet your favorite quotes, pictures and discoveries throughout the event using #CAPCseminar14. You can also follow this hashtag for up-to-the-minute coverage from CAPC. Participants are also encouraged to join the CAPC National Seminar Community Facebook Page to interact with fellow attendees.

Each year, the Seminar is growing. Offering in-depth content, rich networking opportunities and one-on-one access to expert faculty, attendees learn from real-world examples of development and sustainability.  For more information on this annual event, click here.

Upcoming CAPC Web Conference to Focus on Payer-Provider Partnerships

CAPC’s next web conference – Tuesday, December 2 at 1:30 PM ET –  is the third in a series related to payer-provider partnerships. This event will look at advanced illness services at Highmark, a national diversified health care partner service member through its businesses in health insurance, dental insurance, vision care and reinsurance. Highmark, which received the Gold Fine Award in 2013 for its Advanced Illness Services, has implemented several successful strategies for improving access to palliative care and supporting members, their families and caregivers in dealing with serious or chronic medical conditions.

This web conference will focus on two of these strategies: the Quality Blue Hospital Pay for Value Programs and the Advanced Illness Services Program. Participants will learn about how these programs developed, the key milestones achieved and some of the challenges encountered along the way. For more information and to register, click here.

Manitoba Palliative Care Research Unit to Hold Dignity Therapy Training Workshop in 2015

The Manitoba Palliative Care Research Unit will be holding an intensive two-and-a-half-day Dignity Therapy Training Workshop June 3-June 5, 2015 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Led by Dr. Harvey Max Chochinov, this workshop will consist of a blend of lectures, small-group discussion, observing Dignity Therapy in action, and hands-on opportunities for therapists. Registration is limited to 60 participants. Click here for more and to register.

The ultimate goal of Dignity Therapy is to help bolster the dignity of patients facing serious illness and address their suffering. This therapeutic intervention invites patients to reflect on matters of importance to them.

Follow CAPC

Follow CAPC’s Facebook page and Twitter page for up-to-the-minute news, palliative care research findings, original videos and more! Subscribe to CAPC’s new podcast channel to listen to stories that cover pertinent palliative care issues.

The Palliative Pulse, October 2014

CAPC Presents: David’s Palliative Care Story

David, a devoted family man, is a colorectal cancer survivor who suffered from complications as a result of his treatment. After repeated visits to the emergency room to deal with the pain, David asked for palliative care. His primary goal was to remain at home to enjoy quality time with his family. David’s palliative care team helps manage his pain but also provides psycho-social support for him and his family. Thanks to his palliative care treatment, David is now able to enjoy life at home as he continues his recovery.

Hear from David as well as members of the palliative care team treating him and his family.

Become a CAPC Member in 2014 and Save for Two Years

There are only two months left in 2014. If you become a CAPC member organization in 2014, you will save for two years. In 2015, we will be expanding our tools, training, metrics and technical assistance. As your partner, we want to make sure you never have to reinvent the wheel.

CAPC member institutions will have unlimited access to CAPC tools, training and hands-on technical assistance to help you successfully achieve these goals and implement palliative care principles and practices throughout your organization. One membership fee will cover the cost for your entire institution. Membership is geared to both established palliative care programs and start-ups, as well as all frontline clinicians. Click here for more information and a full list of membership benefits. To learn more about the benefits of membership, please call 212-201-2674.

Data/Experts Say Palliative Care is in High Demand

According to results of the recently released National Palliative Care Registry™ Survey, the prevalence of palliative care in U.S. hospitals with 50 beds or more has nearly tripled since 2000, reaching 61 percent of all hospitals of this size. The number of people served by palliative care programs in the United States has also tripled, due to the increase in the absolute number of programs and their ability to care for a greater number of people living with serious illness.

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“What this undeniable growth means for people with serious illness is that wherever they are in the country, in whatever setting they are in, they have access to the added layer of support they need to improve their quality of life and ensure that their families are well cared for,” said Sean Morrison, MD, Director of the National Palliative Care Research Center in a recent video about the future of palliative care.

In this video, Stephen Berns, MD, Asst. Professor of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, says he and his colleagues are seeing a positive change within their institutions as well, with more primary care physicians taking notice of the benefits this specialty has to offer.

Despite this growth however the data shows that insufficient staffing continues to present a barrier to reaching patients in need. Diane Meier, MD, Director of CAPC, says that in addition to limitations on workforce capacity, lack of understanding of the importance of concurrent palliative care services continues to serve as a barrier.

“Improving access to palliative care for all seriously ill people requires that every clinician have basic skills in pain and symptom management and in communication about what is most important to patients and their families,” says Dr. Meier. To view the entire survey summary, click here.

Help Keep Our Public Awareness Efforts Going!

As CAPC continues its educational efforts to increase the public’s understanding of palliative care, you have an opportunity to help spread the word to your organizations and institutions. For starters, visit our consumer YouTube page to view a series of videos that highlight the world of palliative care through the perspectives of patients, their family members and palliative care specialists of all disciplines. CAPC also recently released a video animation that defines and explains what palliative care is and how it supports people facing serious illness.

You are also encouraged to share our series of informative icons geared towards educating the public of this growing medical specialty. CAPC will be highlighting these tools on its Facebook and Twitter feeds throughout the coming months. Major funding for this campaign has been provided by the Cambia Health Foundation.

Watch this video featuring Diane E. Meier, MD on how you can help spread the word about palliative care.

Palliative Care Quote Book

Hear what experts from the field are saying about palliative care

In the first installment of our palliative care quote book, Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Practitioner, Margaret Farrar-Laco of Akron Children’s Hospital, discusses how palliative care respects the choices of patients and families at all costs, and how empowering patients makes her profession a rewarding one.

 

Follow CAPC

Follow CAPC’s Facebook page and Twitter page for up-to-the-minute news, palliative care research findings, original videos and more! Subscribe to CAPC’s new podcast channel to listen to stories that cover pertinent palliative care issues.

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