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NAHC Report: Issue# 2535, 10/24/2014
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Why Hospice is More Important Today than Ever Before
New CBO Report Calls for Stronger Medicare Anti-Fraud Reforms
For Your Information: National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation’s Improving Access to Integrated Palliative Care Webinar Archive Available
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Why Hospice is More Important Today than Ever Before
The following article was written by Dan Hogan, CEO and founder of Medalogix a predictive modeling web service that analyzes post-acute care agency data

NAHC’s Annual Meeting and Exposition got underway earlier this week.  The General Session speakers included people that educated, inspired and informed attendees. Below are summaries for the presentations of the General Session speakers.

Senator Rob Portman (R-OH)

Rob Portman, United States Senator from the state of Ohio, addressed Tuesday morning’s General Session. Senator Portman, a longtime hospice advocate and possible Republican presidential candidate in 2016, told attendees that it was his mother who first educated him about the importance of home care and hospice, as she was an early pioneer and supporter of hospice in her community. Before being elected to Congress, Senator Portman served on the board of a home care and hospice organization. In this capacity, he suggested that all board members go on patient visits to see and experience the benefits of hospice for themselves. His own first-hand visits gave him a deep appreciation for the acute medical needs of patients, the dedication of nurses, and the undeniable need for isolated elderly patients to have the lifeline hospice provides.

“There is nothing more patient-centric than hospice,” said Portman. “The Federal Government shouldn’t make it harder.” Portman recognized hospice as not only a more compassionate, but also less expensive alternative to institutional care.

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New CBO Report Calls for Stronger Medicare Anti-Fraud Reforms
NAHC has been a longtime proponent of stronger program integrity measures

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently released a report, “How Initiatives to Reduce Fraud in Federal Health Care Programs Affect the Budget.” The aim of the report is to look at the budgetary consequences that fraud in federal health programs – such as Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP – have on overall federal spending.

According to the report’s summary, the goal of analyzing such data was to estimate, “the budgetary effects of legislative proposals to reduce fraud in Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and how those estimates are used in the Congressional budget process.”

A review of the report’s findings in Home Health Care News expounded on what the report means to the home health and hospice community.

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National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation’s Improving Access to Integrated Palliative Care Webinar Archive Available

The NIHCM Foundation’s recent webinar “Improving Access to Integrated Palliative Care” is now available online.

 The event featured the following presentations:

  • Senator Bill Frist made the case for palliative care, summarizing the evidence on patient and cost outcomes and noting that most successful models are patient- and family-centered and rely on value-based payments.
     
  • Diane Meier illustrated widespread gaps in support for the seriously ill, highlighted payer initiatives to promote palliative care, and emphasized that cost reductions require a focus on quality, guidelines-based care.
     
  • Speakers from Aspire Health  described a scalable model for outpatient palliative care, including its approach to home visits and patient records and its impact on advanced care planning and hospital admissions
  • Speakers from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois described their partnership with local hospitals to improve communication about treatment goals and better coordinate care for patients with advanced illness.

Video and slides from the presentations are available on NIHCM’s website.

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