Photo: Susan Lloyd and Edo Banach at the White House.
Vice President Pence and COVID-19 task force team seek input from the hospice and palliative care community.
The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and leaders from the hospice and palliative care provider community were honored to participate in a COVID-19 Task Force meeting hosted by Vice President Pence at the White House on March 4, 2020. The Vice President was joined by CMS Administrator Seema Verma and Dr. Debbi Birx who is serving as the White House Coronavirus Coordinator.
Through relationships within the communities that hospice and palliative care providers serve, they play a valuable role in educating the community as well as providing necessary care to vulnerable populations.
“We would like to thank Vice President Pence for his leadership and for reaching out to the hospice and palliative care professional community to discuss the Coronavirus with Administrator Verma and Dr. Birx to help inform the COVID-19 Task Force’s work during this critical time,” said NHPCO President and CEO Edo Banach.
“The Vice President has assembled an expert team who are tirelessly working to help the American people. They recognize how hospice and palliative care professionals are in the unique position to assist in the dissemination of critical information about COVID-19 and the ongoing mitigation. The hospice and palliative care community, as frontline community caregivers, stand ready, willing and able to provide expertise and ongoing technical support to policy makers in the White House,” noted Banach.
NHPCO looks forward to continued collaboration with the Administration and offered recommendations in the following areas:
- Access: Hospice providers have reported facing difficulty seeing patients who are enrolled in hospice care who reside in nursing homes and other facilities.
- Supplies & Testing: Hospice and palliative care providers are facing widespread challenges in obtaining needed personal protective equipment (PPE) including appropriate masks, isolation gowns, face shields, and goggles.
- Telehealth: Reducing barriers to telehealth services would allow hospice providers to care for their patients and families while controlling potential transmission of disease.
NHPCO looks forward to continuing to work collaboratively with the Administration in developing guidance that will address the unique needs and abilities of providers who deliver care to patients and family caregivers in the home. NHPCO also requested that hospice be included as a provider in the 1135 blanket waiver should the President declare a disaster or emergency under the Stafford Act or National Emergencies Act.
NHPCO applauds the Administration’s ongoing leadership on combating the COVID-19 outbreak and their recognition that hospice and palliative care providers have a history of providing person-centered care to patients and families and will continue to provide support in the communities that they serve.
Released by the White House: Readout from the Vice President’s Meeting with Long-Term, Post-Acute and Palliative Care Provider Executives (03/04/20)