The Palliative Pulse, September 2014

Center to Advance Palliative Care Expands Its Public Awareness Efforts

As part of its ongoing educational efforts to increase the public’s understanding of palliative care, CAPC has released a video animation that defines and explains what palliative care is and how it supports people facing serious illness.

The video – among the first of its kind on this subject – compares people facing serious illness to a bridge that needs support. While a serious illness may weaken the foundation, the palliative care team provides that necessary layer of support.

In addition to our animated video, CAPC will also be sharing a series of videos and podcasts that spotlight individual palliative care stories (see Debbie’s story below). And finally, we’re rolling out a series of informative icons geared towards educating the public of this growing medical specialty.

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CAPC will be highlighting these tools on its Facebook and Twitter feeds throughout the coming months. Help us disseminate our videos and icons via social media to ensure our public awareness campaign gets maximum reach and attention!

Become a CAPC Member in 2014 and Save for Two Years

CAPC wants to continue to support your efforts as a collaborative partner. As of 2015, we’ll be expanding the tools, training, metrics and technical assistance we provide. We hope you will join us. If you become a member organization in 2014, you will save for two years. 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.

CAPC Presents: Debbie’s Palliative Care Story

Debbie is a hairdresser and business owner who was unable to work due to neuropathy from multiple myeloma. Debbie’s palliative care team put her back in the driver’s seat by considering her priorities and addressing the pain and stress related to her disease. Hear from Debbie as she returns to the profession she loves as well as Dr. Bridget Tracy, a member of the palliative care team treating her.

My Palliative Care Moment

“Palliative Care? What is that?”

When Tasha Schoppee, RN and Palliative Care Coordinator at Baptist Health in Jacksonville, Florida, asked this pivotal question, she didn’t know it would change her career path forever. This month’s palliative care moment tells Tasha’s story as a young nurse who “fell in love” with the process of helping seriously ill patients and their families cope with the pain and stress of their illnesses. Watch Tasha’s video:

Do you have a palliative care moment to share? Contact Dan.Altano@mssm.edu

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

New IOM Report Has Profound Implications for Palliative Care

The Institute of Medicine released its latest report on September 17, 2014.  The report focuses extensively on people with serious and chronic illness of indeterminate prognoses, and why the current health care system has largely failed to meet their needs. Key areas covered include delivery of person-centered, family-oriented care; clinician-patient communication and advance care planning; professional education and development; policies and payment systems; as well as public education and engagement.

This week, Dr. Diane Meier, Director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care, released a message to the field on the significance of the report and what it means for the future of palliative care. Dr. Meier will also be hosting an interactive web conference on Tuesday, October 28 at 1:30PM EST that will discuss the report in depth as well as ask participants to weigh in on how best to leverage its recommendations. For more information, contact CAPC at 212-201-2670.

Fast Facts to be Hosted by CAPC

Beginning in 2015, Fast Facts, which offer concise, practical, peer-reviewed and evidence-based summaries on key topics important to clinicians and trainees caring for patients facing serious illnesses, will be hosted by CAPC. Fast Facts will remain a free resource, accessible to anyone including non-CAPC members. This resource is currently available for free via the Apple App Store or through this direct link.

Upcoming CAPC Web Conference to Focus on Community-Based Palliative Care

CAPC’s next web conference – Wednesday, October 8 at 1:30 PM ET – will provide an overview of key characteristics of community-based palliative care (CbPC), highlighting its role in longitudinal care across patient transitions. Featured presenter Christine Ritchie, MD, a co-author of the paper, Community-based palliative care: the natural evolution for palliative care in the U.S, will discuss distinguishing features and innovative models, as well as the foundational role of partnerships required to operationalize CbPC. Click here for more information. To register, click here.

Straight Talk About Palliative Care

In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Diane Meier discusses why public education of palliative care is vital its growth. Dr. Meier says one of the barriers to achieving this growth exists within the medical community itself where “too many” medical schools don’t offer the proper palliative care training despite its proven benefits.

“We are working to help doctors and other professionals understand that palliative care is administered simultaneously alongside disease treatment. This remains the biggest hurdle the field needs to overcome,” says Dr. Meier.

In addition to defining palliative care and dispelling misconceptions of when it is appropriate, Dr. Meier details how palliative care can help anyone facing a serious illness as well as how it can save hospitals money. To read the full story, 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.

This Quarter in Health Reform: Summer 2014 Roundup

By Emily Warner

Greetings, Palliative in Practice readers, and welcome to your September edition of This Quarter in Health Reform. It was a mild summer here in the northeast, perfect weather for throwing another hotdog on the grill and abandoning your commitment to take up beach volleyball.  Seasonal highlights included gubernatorial hopeful Don Berwick’s can’t-fail single payer platform, and Malia Obama’s sweet 16 party at the White House on July 4th, featuring the at once patriotic and precious rapper, Pitbull.

Of course, somewhere in there, CMS found the time to draft up about 100,000 pages of regulations, so let’s get to it, shall we?

  1. BREAKING: The Institute of Medicine, just hours ago, released the report, “Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences at the End of Life.”  The title is lamentable, but the report makes incredibly strong recommendations regarding palliative care: that palliative care should be available to all people with serious illness in all settings, and that all health professionals should have training in basic palliative care skills, including communication and pain and symptom management. Take a few minutes to read the summary recommendations here.
  2. CMS once again ruined some sad 1st year Policy Associate’s weekend getaway plans with its whopping 2,400+ page inpatient prospective payment system final rule. This rule, which was either released on August 1 or August 22, depending on which part of the government you ask, lays out both payment system updates and quality-related updates. Shortest summary ever: readmissions penalties will go up to 3% of payments in FY 2015. Conditions tracked include heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and hip/knee arthroplasty; and beginning in FY 2017, coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgical procedures.   No palliative care measures are included in the IQRS, though a 3-item care transition set was added.  CAPC continues to work with quality measurement experts to encourage the adoption of measures related to quality of life for people with serious illness.
  3. Next up, hospice policy. A lot happened this summer around hospice and if you subscribe to any of AAHPM’s or NHPCO’s mailings I’m sure you heard about it. First, drugs. This is a bit oversimplified, but in March, CMS issued guidance that required all prescribed medications for hospice patients billed to part D to be rejected for payment pending a coverage determination.  This created heartbreaking access issues for patients, and after the concerted advocacy efforts of the hospice and palliative care communities, CMS backed down from this policy in July. Now prior authorization is only required for four categories of drugs: analgesics, anti-nauseants, laxatives and anti-anxiety drugs.  CMS also ruffled feathers in its proposed Hospice wage index rule in May. The many details of this proposed rule are too lengthy to go into here, but among the issues was a proposed new definition of “terminal illness” that CMS is considering for future rulemaking.  Many stakeholders saw the proposed definition as an attempt to expand the definition of terminal illness, and thus the services that would need to be covered by the hospice per diem, and there was broad resistance to the proposal. In its final rule released in August, CMS acknowledged what it had heard from the field, but reiterated its concern about the unbundling of services under the current definition, so this issue has not been put to rest. You can see the fact sheet on the full final rule here.
  4. On a much clearer note, the Secretary has resigned! Long live the Secretary. Kathleen Sebelius, Warrior Secretary, resigned last spring, and Sylvia Burwell has been confirmed to take her place. Godspeed, Secretary Burwell; it’s only a matter of time before your visage is replaced by photographs like this.
  5. And last but not least, the Patient Quality of Life Coalition (PQLC)—a coalition formed to improve access to palliative care—had a successful lobby day this summer. Individuals from over 20 organizations had 64 meetings to promote awareness of palliative care and of two active pieces of legislation—the Patient Centered Quality Care for Life Act (link is to House bill), and the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (again, House bill).  Its efforts resulted in 13 new cosponsors on the bills. Also worthy of note was a PQLC Twitter chat following the lobby day under the PQLC hashtag.  I’m not sure if, technically speaking, Twitter-chatting is a competition, but based on the number of tweets, I’m pretty sure I won. So step aside @ctsinclair and @rfberry, there’s a new tweet-chatter in town.

And this is a health care blog, so honorable mention has to go to—what else— the Apple watch, which marks, with its ability to determine a pulse, one of the greatest leaps forward in medical technology seen in decades. Until now, there was simply no way to know whether an individual’s heart was beating, and if it were, at what rate. This watch, which can determine a pulse at such distal and improbable locations as the wrist, ushers in a new era of symbiosis between the biological and the binary. The singularity is indeed near.

And that’s it for this quarter, folks.  Join us next week for your regularly-scheduled CAPC News Bites.  Until then, at a cool 64 bpm, signing off…

CAPC News Bites

CAPC News Bites, What you need to know this week

(Editor’s note: Health Reform Quarterly will appear in place of CAPC News Bites next week).

CAPC Membership At-a-Glance

CAPC becomes a membership organization in January 2015.  Among the many benefits of membership are Virtual Office Hours for “just in time,” small-group access to field leaders, appropriate whether you’re trying to improve team billing practices or implement palliative care in your ICU.

Member organizations will also gain access to ready-to-use tools and technical assistance for palliative care specialists and teams in all settings; clinical online training pathways for all frontline clinicians that integrate best practices with highly interactive skill-building; operational skill-building for both well-established and new palliative care specialists; free CME/CEUs and much more. If you become a member in 2014, you will save for two years. To learn more and to join, click here.

Deadline Approaching for Early Bird Registration to the CAPC National Seminar

The deadline to save on registration for the CAPC National Seminar is September 22. The seminar will be held  November 13-15 in Orlando, Florida.  Offering in-depth content, rich networking opportunities and one-on-one access to expert faculty, attendees will also learn from real-world examples of development and sustainability.

Participants will also have the opportunity to hear from notable plenary speakers, including Senator William H. Frist, Sister Carol Keehan, DC, RN, MS, Diane E. Meier, MD, Graeme Rocker, MD and David Weissman, MD. For more information and to register, click here.

Next CAPC Web Conference to Focus on Payer-Provider Partnerships

CAPC’s next web conference – Wednesday, September 24 at 1:30 PM ET – that will focus on the successful integration of the Advanced Illness Management Program in the North Shore-LIJ Health System through several different financing models. Participants will learn how North Shore LIJ worked directly with payers to ensure that team-based palliative care in the community was supported and available to those in need. Speaker Kristofer Smith, MD MPP, will discuss the challenges faced and opportunities discovered as he worked to collaborate with several payers to support Advanced Illness Management services to people with complex-care needs.

Click here to register. For a detailed description on the ways in which payers are supporting palliative care for their members with serious illness, download the toolkit, “Improving the Care of Serious Illness through Innovative Payer-Provider Partnerships,” at capc.org/payertoolkit.

CAPC News Bites

CAPC News Bites, What you need to know this week

Annual Palliative Care Survey Summary Results Show Palliative Care Growth

CAPC and the National Palliative Care Research Center (NPCRC) have released the results of the 2012 National Palliative Care Registry Survey, providing key findings on the association between staffing levels and the ability to reach patients in need.  The National Palliative Care Registry™ tracks structures and processes of palliative care teams in U.S. hospitals and acts as the leading resource on the metrics, scope and variation of hospital palliative care programs.

The report findings show the growth of palliative care over the past decade, which types of U.S. healthcare organizations consider palliative care a critical part of their patient services, the increased ability of palliative care to reach patients in need, the relationship of staffing to determining palliative care penetration, and the relationship of staffing to shorter length of stay, among others. Click here to download the summary.

Web Conference: Improving Access to Integrated Palliative Care

The National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation—a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational foundation dedicated to improving the effectiveness, efficiency and quality of the U.S. health care system—is hosting a free web conference on September 10, 2014 at 1:00 pm EDT that will explore ways to improve access to palliative care across the United States. The conference, Improving Access to Integrated Palliative Care, will address the key benefits of team-based care, showcase successful models of how outpatient palliative care has reduced hospitalizations, and introduce a new Medicare pilot that allows patients to access palliative care through hospice while pursuing life-prolonging treatment. A draft agenda can be viewed by clicking here. Registration for this webinar will remain open until 11:00 AM (EDT) on September 10. .

Dates Still Available for Hands-on Palliative Care Training in 2014

Only a few dates remain in 2014 to take advantage of intensive, operational hands-on training and yearlong mentoring offered by Palliative Care Leadership Centers™ (PCLC). These centers, located throughout the United States, offer training  for palliative care programs at every stage of development and growth.  Established by CAPC and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, PCLC has trained almost half of the nation’s hospital palliative care programs.

For programs at beginning stages, PCLC training will result in less ramp-up time and a more efficient, cost-effective program. For active programs, the PCLC curriculum will help ensure sustainability and growth. Click here to view the list of available training dates. To enroll, 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.

The Palliative Pulse, August 2014

A Retiring Social Worker Reflects on her Palliative Care Journey

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Palliative care social worker Sue Degnan (left) and her successor Jaime Puzelli of Huntington Hospital

In the early 1990s, social worker Sue Degnan knew something was missing from the care her Oncology team was delivering. She watched doctors and nurses come and go from hospital rooms without taking the time to truly communicate with their patients and families, especially those facing serious illness, and thought her staff could be doing more.

“A lot of families were struggling because they didn’t get to sit down and have conversations with their medical professionals. They didn’t know they had choices when it came to their treatment options and I thought that the relationship between patient and clinician was greatly lacking.”

That’s when Sue discovered what palliative care was and how it could fill the gap by adding an extra layer of support for patients and families as they navigated through uncertain waters.  At the time, less than 5% of all hospitals in the United States were offering palliative care services, but that didn’t deter Sue and a few of her colleagues at Huntington Hospital in New York from taking action.

“After discovering that not only does it help patients facing serious illness immensely but that there’s a strong business case for the hospital as well, I knew it was something we had to push for. From that moment on, we began a grassroots movement to offer this kind of care as much as possible.”

That movement has turned into a successful palliative care program at Huntington which now features a full interdisciplinary team of trained palliative care specialists who see an average of 95 palliative care consults a month. The team’s development is a reflection of the growth of palliative care in the United States as well. At present, 61 percent of all hospitals with 50 beds or more offer palliative care programs; a far cry from the days where Sue began her uphill climb to help implement a palliative care program at her hospital.

Now, as Sue enters retirement after an accomplished 52-year career, she is able to reflect on what her team has accomplished.

“That I’d be able to retire and see something come to life that I always had a passion for is a wonderful thing. There’s not a lot of people that can say that they did what they set out to do and have no regrets about how they got there.”

Listen to this CAPC Podcast with Sue Degnan as she discusses what it takes to succeed in the role of the palliative care social worker and how she believes that her successor is the right person to continue her legacy.

 

 10 Reasons to Become a CAPC Member Organization

CAPC is becoming a membership organization in 2015. The value of membership is a strong partnership between your organization and CAPC. Among the many benefits of membership, you and your organization will be able to take advantage of:

  1. Virtual Office Hours for “just in time,” small-group access to field leaders, whether you’re trying to improve team billing practices or implement palliative care in your ICU
  2. Ready-to-use tools and technical assistance for palliative care specialists and teams in all settings
  3. Clinical online training pathways for all frontline clinicians that integrate best practices with highly interactive skill-building. Generalist clinicians can receive CAPC Designation. Training is linked to CME/CEUs
  4. Operational skill-building for both well-established and new palliative care specialists. Training is linked to CME/CEUs
  5. Leadership support that focuses on a rapidly changing environment, including leveraging resources to increase efficiency, metrics needed to ensure impact and seamless adoption of best practices from other programs.
  6. Comparative data and reporting through the nation’s only repository of data on palliative care team characteristics and best practices – the National Palliative Care Registry™
  7. Convening opportunities, such as Special Interest Groups that let you collaborate with colleagues who share your interests and challenges
  8. Access to all CAPC web conferences
  9. Deep discounts for the Journal of Palliative Medicine and the CAPC Seminar
  10. If you join in 2014, you will save for two years!

To learn more and to join, click here.

My Palliative Care Moment

Sharing the inspiring stories of why specialists choose palliative care as a career

This month, watch Jay Horton, Director of Palliative Care Consult Service at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai Hospital, discuss why he chose palliative care as a career.

Do you or your patients have a palliative care moment to share? Contact Dan Altano at Dan.Altano@mssm.edu.

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CAPC News Bites

CAPC News Bites, What you need to know this week

Palliative care can help those facing serious illness

The Journal Times out of Racine County (which stretches across Chicago and Milwaukee) is spreading the word about palliative care by pointing readers in the direction of evidence that shows how palliative care can help patients and families facing serious illness.

In a recent article, Dr. Anthony Komaroff, a physician and professor at Harvard Medical School, answered a reader’s question about available resources for people dealing with advanced cancer, by explaining how palliative care can help. In her response, Dr. Komaroff highlighted a recent study conducted by Harvard-affiliated researchers that surveyed almost 400 men and women with advanced cancer.

“The study found that human connection, rather than heroic life-saving efforts, mattered most to patients and their families,” said Dr. Komaroff. “(Patients) want to make the decision about what to do, based on their assessment of their situation and their values. They often discuss this with the family and friends they trust before making their decision,” she added.

To read the full story, click here. Watch this video that shows how palliative care empowers patients to make decisions that matter to them.

Proposed Requirements for Advanced Palliative Care Certification Program: Submit Input by TOMORROW

The Joint Commission is proposing changes to the Advanced Palliative Care Certification Program requirements and is seeking input from the field. Palliative care providers are encouraged to review and comment on these standards by Thursday, August 21.

The Joint Commission has identified areas for enhancement in the requirements, which include: increased focus on care of patient and family; referrals to community resources and hospice providers; assessments by members of the interdisciplinary program team; palliative care for pediatric patients and families; as well as orientation and education for interdisciplinary program team members.  Of note, however, is that the revisions would not require a physician to be included as a member of the “core interdisciplinary program team.  The Joint Commission welcomes input on this and all other requirements via a short online survey.

Webinar Tomorrow: Palliative Care & Depression—Clinical Challenges

Being able to recognize the signs and assess the symptoms of depression is crucial to palliative care providers. To explain how mental health providers can help with palliative care by being able to appropriately recognize, assess, and provide intervention to patients with depression, the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California (CCCC) is holding a web conference Thursday, August 21, at 1:00 p.m. PST.

The web conference will feature speaker Scott A. Irwin, PhD, Directory of Psychiatry and Psychosocial Services at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. Click here for more information and to register now.

Cambia Health Foundation to hold Sojourns Awards and Summit October 2

Cambia Health Foundation is holding a luncehon to honor the Foundation’s inaugural national cohort of Sojourns Scholar Leadership award recipients on Thursday, October 2, 2014, at the Sentinel Hotel in Portland, Oregon.

The Sojourns Scholar Leadership Program is a new initiative designed to identify, cultivate and advance the next generation of palliative care leaders. Anthony Back, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington, will deliver the keynote address. Following the complimentary awards luncheon, Cambia Health Foundation will also be holding a summit featuring regional and national palliative care leaders. To learn more about both events and to join, click here.

‘Lessons Learned’ from Electronic Palliative Care Coordination System Implementation

NHS Improving Quality (NHS IQ)—a group dedicated to the improvement of care across England—has produced a resource to support organizations planning implementation of an Electronic Palliative Care Coordination System (EPaCCS). The system records and communicates key information about the wishes and preferences of those facing serious illness.

The new resource, ‘Lessons Learned’, provides useful tips and information which has been collated from working with sites who are currently implementing an EPaCCS system. To download ‘Lessons Learned’ or to find out more, click here.

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CAPC News Bites

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Early Palliative Care Can Lessen Hospital Stays, Improve Well-Being

A study conducted by researchers a the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has found that early referrals to palliative care lead to fewer hospitalizations, ER visits, intensive-care admissions and hospital deaths.

“Earlier palliative care is generally a good thing. There is more and more evidence to support the need for it, and the benefits that come from it,” says David Hui, M.D., an oncologist at MD Anderson.

To read a detailed synopsis of the study published on asbestos.com—a site produced through the Mesothelioma Center—click here.

A Network for Courageous Parents Offers New Views on Palliative Care

A new site, conceptualized by television producer Blyth Lord, is sharing compelling videos that feature parents of seriously-ill children discussing their trying experiences. Launched in April 2014, the Courageous Parents Network aims to be a video-centric resource for any parent facing this kind of situation.

In the videos, parents talk about a host of topics including their fears and anxieties, and in several cases, detail their decisions to choose palliative care for their children. The video series also features the points-of-view of physicians, therapists and chaplains, among others. To view the site, click here.

Baylor Medical Center Wants To Spread The Word About Palliative Care

An article in HealthCare Daily has put the spotlight on Baylor Healthcare System’s Supportive and Palliative Care program, which was recently awarded the American Hospital Association’s Circle of Life Award as one of the nation’s three best palliative care programs. The story details their growth from a program that saw an average of 450 patients a year between 2004 and 2010 to a program that now treats over 4,200 patients annually. To read the full story, which also focuses on the need for more palliative care training nationally and underlines important research supporting palliative care, click here.

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CAPC News Bites

CAPC News Bites, What you need to know this week

Disparities in Access To Palliative Care

Otis Brawley and Cardinale Smith say that racial and ethnic disparities in health care in regards to access to care, receipt of care, and quality of care lead to more minority patients being diagnosed with late-stage illness and experiencing increased suffering as a result. This detailed argument can be found this month in Health Affairs, which has been publishing a blog series dedicated to bringing pressing palliative care issues to light.

In the article, Brawley and Smith lay out actionable next steps in bringing these issues to light and addressing the problem. They say change must come soon.

“As the population of minority older adults continues to rapidly increase, many will have to deal with the challenges of serious illness. Ensuring the availability of high quality palliative care that can meet the needs of this population is paramount,” they write. To read the full story, click here.

New APHA Policy: Supporting Public Health’s Role in Addressing Unmet Needs in Serious Illness

The Aging and Public Health Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA) has released a proposed policy, “Supporting Public Health’s Role in Addressing Unmet Needs in Serious Illness and at the End of Life.” This policy addresses the public health problem of the growing suffering and illness burden among older adults and seriously ill individuals who are faced with advanced life-limiting conditions as they age. The contents set the stage for public health’s involvement in supporting appropriate health care delivery for this growing population.

Action Steps are provided for organizations, government, and policy makers. Detailed information about the policy can found by clicking here.

Mindfulness, Listening and Communication: Training for Providers Caring for the Seriously Ill

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Between Friday, October 17 and Saturday, October 18, the NYU Langone Medical Center—a world-class, patient-centered, integrated, academic medical center—is offering training to doctors, care givers and anyone actively involved or concerned with palliative care and decision-making.

This course will teach mindfulness-based palliative care/communication skills to caregivers involved in caring for patients facing serious illness as well as their loved ones. Participants will explore how aspects of the practice of mindfulness can help to develop deep communication skills. To learn more about accreditation, get to know the speakers and see the full list of events, read the course brochure.

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CAPC News Bites

CAPC News Bites, What you need to know this week

Medicare Experiment Could Signal Sea Change For Hospice

Diane E. Meier, Director of CAPC, recently sat down with Kaiser Health News’ Michelle Andrews to discuss the recently launched pilot initiative that allows willing hospice patients to continue to receive life-prolonging treatment. Dr. Meier also discussed the differences between hospice and palliative care and weighed in on what the future holds for this medical specialty. Click here to read the full story.

CCCC launches national consulting service for Advance Care Planning

The Coalition for Compassionate Care of California (CCCC) has launched a nationwide Advance Care Planning Consulting Service for healthcare providers. The service works with healthcare organizations to design effective, cost-efficient customized Advance Care Planning solutions that result in a quality experience for both patients and healthcare teams. Topics include: program planning and design, customized materials for patients and providers, training and education, and metrics support. Click here to learn more.

Proposed Requirements for Advanced Palliative Care Certification Program

The Joint Commission is proposing changes to the Advanced Palliative Care Certification Program requirements and is seeking input from the field. The Joint Commission staff  has identified areas for enhancement in the requirements, which include: increased focus on care of patient and family; referrals to community resources and hospice providers; assessments by members of the interdisciplinary program team; palliative care for pediatric patients and families; as well as orientation and education for interdisciplinary program team members.  Submit your comments via the online survey, which will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete.

Click below to listen to a podcast on how The Joint Commission Certification Process works.

 

Insurers play growing role in palliative care expansion

Health plans covering palliative care are on the rise, according to an article in The Oncology Report. As evidence, the story spotlights Cambia Health Solutions’ recent launch of a wide-reaching palliative care program. In addition to covering palliative care services not previously covered, Cambia is offering training to palliative care specialists as well as primary care physicians on topics such as effective communication skills and making referrals. To read the full story, click here.

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