This Quarter in Health Reform: Spring 2014 Roundup

Greetings, Palliative in Practice readers, and welcome to your usually scheduled blog post, congruent, I argue, with the psychological arrow of time, if not any of the others.  Yes, though my complexion has grayed under several months’ worth of entropy, and my bank account has withered under the burden of causality, my mind still resides in the busy month of February. There is so much to do!

CAPC has been bursting with activity as it prepares to take its mission to the next level through a comprehensive online learning platform and new web resources that will help palliative care expand throughout the health system.  We are a small organization with a big mission of ensuring that all people with serious illness receive the care and support they need to achieve the highest quality of life possible, so we are all systems go, hustling as fast as we can to take advantage of all the opportunities health reform has opened.  So, I’ve been busy. So innocently busy! And I submit to you some of the cool things I’ve been working on, to exculpate myself from my Irish goodbye.  I’ll be back next quarter with a post about the latest and greatest in health reform and palliative care.

  1. First and foremost, our innovative payer initiative.  I’ve had the privilege to be the staff lead at CAPC on our innovative payer initiative.  This is a project to describe the ways in which payers and providers are collaborating to find a way to finance and provide palliative care to the people who need it most. There is a ton of innovation going on in this space, and you are going to want to take a look at the first publication of this initiative, which will be published on www.capc.org in June. It’s been a great experience, and if I can get warm and fuzzy here for just one moment: the individuals I’ve spoken with in the course of this project—leaders in both payer organizations and provider organizations—are deeply committed to improving care for people with serious illness, and work from a place of passion and compassion that is compelling and inspiring.  There are so many great people in this field, payers and providers alike, and it gives me hope that we really can reform the healthcare system, even if by one partnership at a time.
  2. Second, podcasts!  As many of you are aware, Diane Meier and Amy Kelley edited a soon-to-be released book, “Meeting the Needs of Older Adults with Serious Illness: Challenges and Opportunities in the Age of Health Care Reform.” Health Affairs is doing a blog series featuring the chapters of the book, and we at CAPC are doing a series of podcasts to feature the chapters as well! So far, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to many of the authors of this book and record their thoughts on the issues and opportunities in expanding access to palliative care.  The first podcast will be released in August, so if you haven’t signed up yet to CAPC’s channel on SoundCloud, do that now!
  3. Third, free CME/CEU online training.  Okay I’m not going to lie, I have not worked much on this initiative, but I like to think I’ve provided moral support, which can be ever so exhausting. All that smiling, standing in colleagues’ doorways eating doughnuts, etc. etc. The online training initiative includes CLE-eligible courses for anybody on the interdisciplinary team. There will be both clinical and technical assistance courses, and to be honest, I’m pretty psyched to take them all. Yes, I’m a lawyer, and deal with far more paper than people, but in my next life I plan to be a clinician-leader or an heiress, and I want to be prepared.

Finally—and the honorable mention of this post—are the CAPC News Bites, put together by our New Media Manager, Dan Altano.  These posts, as perfectly sized and easily consumed as the mini Oreos by which they were no doubt inspired, keep me up to date on the most interesting stories that happened in palliative care in a given week. If you didn’t have a reason to subscribe to this blog before, you do now.  These posts are a great, easy way to stay up on what’s happening in the field.

And that’s it for this quarter! I’ll be back next time with the top 5 in palliative care and health reform.

 

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