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NAHC Report: Issue# 2583, 1/13/2015
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End-of-Life Decisions Not Incorporated into Electronic Health Records
White House Conference on Aging Launches Series of Regional Forums to Engage Public
For Your Information: NAHC Cosponsors Health Law Conference
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End-of-Life Decisions Not Incorporated into Electronic Health Records
Recent article highlights oversight in ability to note dying patient’s wishes

A recent, in-depth article in Politico highlights the challenges of transitioning to electronic health records for physicians and other healthcare providers who offer end of life care. The main problems cited in the article include the inability to note a patient’s end of life decisions, whether or not the patient has designated someone else to make such decisions on their behalf, and the reticence to craft a policy that addresses such issues. According to the article, “Recording the desires of patients who are on their death beds…has become a huge gap in the nationwide effort to computerize patient care.”

While the lack of end of life decision support is becoming a serious cause for concern, there don’t appear to be any solutions yet on the horizon. “Now, it seems that lack of digital documentation may be a missed opportunity,” the article states. “Advanced care planning — talking about and recording what individuals do or don’t want when terminally ill — is a weak point in the health care system highlighted in the recent Institute of Medicine report on “Dying in America.””

David Blumenthal, who was the National Coordinator for Health IT, whose office promulgated the original Meaningful Use rules, stated that in an ideal world, rules governing the use and implication of health IT would eventually include advanced care planning.

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White House Conference on Aging Launches Series of Regional Forums to Engage Public

The White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) is launching a series of regional forums to engage with older Americans, their families, caregivers, leaders in the aging field, and others on the key issues affecting older Americans.  Meeting locations include Tampa, FL on February 19th; Phoenix, AZ on March 31st; Seattle, WA on April 9th; Cleveland, OH on April 27th; and Boston, MA on May 28th. 

The forums are designed to help provide input and ideas for the 2015 White House Conference on Aging, which will be held in Washington, DC later this year. 

The regional forums are being co-sponsored with AARP and co-planned with the Leadership Council of Aging Organizations (LCAO), a coalition of more than 70 of the nation’s leading organizations serving older Americans. Participation is by invitation, but the events will be webcast to various locations.

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CMS Regulations, Medicare Cuts and Copyaments, and Other Priorites for 2015
NAHC members urged to voice their opinions on these and other critical issues by filling out one of the brief Priorites surveys below

In preparation for next year's largest gathering of home care and hospice advocates in Washington, DC at the 2015 Home Care and Hospice March on Washington, March 22-25, the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) and its affiliate Hospice Association of America (HAA) are soliciting members' and advocates' input regarding the most important and significant legislative and regulatory challenges and concerns for the home care and hospice community.

NAHC will use these priorities to guide its legislative and regulatory advocacy during the March on Washington and throughout 2015.

Three simple online questionnaires are now available to allow home care and hospice organizations, as well as other interested parties, to provide their input. The questionnaires will only be available through Tuesday, January 20, 2015.

Please take a moment and cast your votes as soon as possible. Agencies or organizations that provide only hospice care are asked to complete only the hospice questionnaire.

The questionnaires include:

Legislative Priorities Survey:

Hospice Priorities Survey:

Regulatory Priorities Survey:

Items should be ranked on the questionnaires according to the level of importance the voter believes they hold for the home care and hospice community.

Again, questionnaires must be completed no later than Tuesday, January 20, 2015 to allow votes to be included in each final tally. Please note that each agency is allowed only one submission; faxed copies of the questionnaire cannot be accepted.

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