Hospice leaders learn about advocacy priorities for 2014

Categories: Policy.

On Wednesday, January 29, the NHPCO Hospice Action Network presented a webinar to a national audience of over 150 hospice program leaders and advocates. The webinar focused on the legislative challenges and opportunities HAN expects the hospice community to face in 2014, as well as positive advocacy steps the community could take to proactively work to preserve and protect the Medicare Hospice Benefit.

The presentation started with an assessment of the busy spring expected for lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Between the fast approaching debt ceiling, the ongoing issues with hospice and Medicare Part D, and the use of hospice as a ‘pay-for’ for the Sustainable Growth Rate or ‘Doc Fix’, congress will be busy indeed this spring.

Hospice Action Network staff offered their explanations and assessments of the possible risks and opportunities to our community around these issues, and described several major deadlines for congress to act.

The conversation also focused on how hospice programs could be proactive. The session included analysis from James Vaughn of the Congressional Management Foundation (CMF) on how to turn Senators and Congressmen into champions for hospice- over the long term.

It is the Hospice Action Network’s belief that the best way to affect positive change for the hospice community is to work today to develop the long-term hospice champions hospice will need tomorrow. James explained the key points of how to build these relationships, based off of CMF research and analysis.

“The hospice community is going through a time of unprecedented change – Congressional actions are causing our reimbursements to decrease, and regulatory actions are causing our administrative burdens and costs to increase- it’s a perfect storm,” said Jonathan Keyserling, HAN executive director.

Webinars like these give the hospice community the tools they need to ensure hospice will be around for generations to come. To view the webinar, click here.