NAHC Celebrates 34th Birthday on March 10
March 10, 2016 01:13 PM
Today, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) celebrates its 34th birthday. On this occasion, NAHC also recognizes the hard work its members have done to win infirm aged, disabled, and dying persons the right to remain independent in their own homes, enjoying their full share of American freedoms.
“NAHC stands for truth, justice, high-quality personalized health care, and freedom,” said Denise Schrader, NAHC’s chairman of the board. “Our record in helping to lead the last great civil rights battle speaks for itself.” To illustrate her point, Schrader offered the following list of achievements:
From Obscurity to Universal Acceptance. When NAHC was formed in 1982, only 18 percent of the American public knew what home care was. Today, 90 percent not only understand what home care is but also support its expansion to cover all ill and disabled persons. In 1982, hospice was confused with euthanasia. Today, it is universally applauded for its pain management, palliative care, and success in helping patients live fully to the end of their days.
From Seeming Irrelevance to Hyper-Relevance. Home care in 1982 was a tiny part of U.S. health care expenditures, most of which went to pay for acute care. Today, it is the fastest-growing, most-needed part of health care since 90 percent of health care payments go to provide care for chronic diseases — which are the focus of home care.
From a Trickle of Information for Public Guidance to a River of Competent Advice. This is available through NAHC’s website, newsletters, web-based television network, and social media, or from search engines that lead with references to NAHC.
From Institutional Bias to Preference for Home and Community-Based Care. In 1999, NAHC played a role in encouraging the Supreme Court to issue the Olmstead decision, which directed that states must do everything possible to provide care at home for infirm seniors and disabled persons before placing them in institutions. Similarly, NAHC was influential in convincing the National Governors Association that providing long-term care was the biggest future problem facing the nation. The institutional bias in U.S. health care programs, the governors concluded, must be replaced with one favoring home and community-based care.
From Little Help with Business Development to a Panoply of Programs. NAHC interviews top Fortune 500 leaders and shares their thoughts on best practices with home care and hospice executives. NAHC’s Home Care & Hospice Cooperative helps lower the cost of services and assists the public in finding referrals nationwide to meet individual needs.
From Few Educational Programs to a Full Catalogue of Online and In-Person Offerings. NAHC meetings provide up-to-the minute information and advice to help home care and hospice professionals improve their skills and keep up with demands of federal and state regulations. The NAHC Annual Meeting, alone, averages 100 educational programs, while also hosting a trade show with the largest selection of home care and hospice products and services in the world.
From Confusion to Highly Successful Advocacy. In 1982, seven organizations competed to represent home care and hospice, leading to a division that hampered their efforts to influence Congress and regulatory bodies. Today, there is one major organization that is widely accepted by both political parties on Capitol Hill, recognized by the media, and highly regarded by senior and disability groups. Business experts like Tom Peters, John Naisbitt, and Stephen Covey have proclaimed NAHC the best trade association in Washington, DC, and for good reason. NAHC has enjoyed unparalleled triumphs before Congress, regulatory agencies, and the courts, where it has carried the full burden of protecting those who are so sick they cannot leave home without assistance. Recent victories include repeal of the SGR or “doc fix,” extension of Medicare’s differential payment to help agencies in rural or underserved areas through 2017, and blocking the imposition of Medicare copayments. In addition, NAHC waged a successful legal battle to make CMS repeal the physician narrative in its so-called “face-to-face” regulation.
“Looking back,” Schrader said, “we are proud of all NAHC has achieved to serve those Mother Teresa described as the ‘least among us.’ Yet we know this is just a harbinger of what is to come as we fight to win the last great civil rights battle of our time. We are especially proud of the work NAHC has done with our Foundation for Hospice & Home Care. Together, we have honored those caring people who give without limit to improve life for all.”