Report on the Massachusetts Serious Illness Coalition

The MA Serious Illness Coalition pushes to bring awareness and focus on end-of-life issues.

“It is my goal that every nursing school in MA embrace that a nursing student must see a dying patient with the same fervor that they embrace that every nurse must see a baby being born.”
— Susan Lysaght Hurley, PhD, RN
Director of Research, Care Dimensions, Inc

Last week, the Massachusetts Serious Illness Coalition hosted its annual meeting welcoming more than 100 attendees to the JFK Library in Boston. The message from the Coalition’s leadership – as articulated by Blue Cross Blue Shield MA President and CEO – is that “the momentum is building.” From the Coalition’s beginnings less than five years ago, Dreyfus has focused on a long-term strategy to achieve the Coalition’s six goals. These include the ideas that everyone in Massachusetts 18 years or older has a designated health care decision-maker and that all Massachusetts clinicians have appropriate training to communicate comfortably with patients around advanced care planning and serious illness. Dreyfus has likened the work to that done in years past on smoking and on car seats, where steady force and public messaging achieved near-universal changes in public thinking.

The progress on clinician education – from a provider association perspective – is perhaps the most engaging and encouraging news. Dr Atul Gwande, as eloquent as ever, declared that the work to date has shown that: “People have priorities in life beyond just surviving, but you must ask them. Suffering happens when care doesn’t match our priorities.”

In addition to a public education campaign about engaging in advanced care planning conversations, Dr. Gwande announced that the Coalition is in talks with all four Massachusetts medical schools about a cooperative effort to require training of med students in serious illness communication as a graduation requirement.

But it was Dr, Hurley’s remarks that struck home for the home health and hospice agencies in the Coalition. In addition to the above comment, Dr. Hurley spoke of being a young nurse “totally unprepared as to how to talk to the dying.” Along with her subcommittee co-chair Anne Marie Barron of Simmons College, she is working on recommendations on core competencies for nursing education related to serious illness care. These are to be presented in the near future to the Massachusetts Association of Colleges of Nursing. What a great achievement that would be!

For those following the Coalition’s work, these may also be of interest:

  1. End Games, an Academy Award-nominated short documentary on hospice and palliative care executive produced by Shoshana Ungerleider, MD. It premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2018 and was acquired by Netflix.

2. The Coalition’s public message research and draft public facing marketing approaches.

Commendable progress!

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

Talking Home Care: Pat Ahern on Palliative Care 101

Pat Ahern of Care Dimensions
Pat Ahern

Pat Ahern of Care Dimensions joins us for the eighth episode of the Talking Home Care Podcast. As the CEO of the largest and most experienced palliative care agency in the region, Pat’s an authority on palliative care, hospice, and related issues. In a conversation with Alliance Executive Director Pat Kelleher, Ahern discusses:

  • Palliative care’s role as a “midwife at the other end of life”;
  • Dementia care;
  • Payment reform;
  • Referral sources;
  • Nurse recruitment and training; and
  • Physician involvement.


You may listen to the podcast by clicking the play button below, downloading it directly, or subscribing through iTunes or Google Play. (Length: 26 minutes; Size: 12 MB). If you enjoy it, please give us a five-star review so others can find it as well.

Host: Patricia Kelleher is the Executive Director of the Home Care Alliance of Massachusetts.

GuestPatricia Ahern, joined Care Dimensions in 2017 as president and CEO. With more than 30 years of leadership in healthcare and an MBA, she has the clinical and strategic business skills, and a true passion for the mission, that enables her to provide Care Dimensions’s vision and leadership.

Resources: More information about Care Dimensions.


Talking Home Care LogoDon’t want to miss the next episode of Talking Home Care? Subscribe through iTunes, Google Play, or accessing its feed directly.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

Celebrate Nurses Week

Next week is National Nurses week. It is a time to celebrate the dedication, caring and overall contributions of those who choose nursing as their profession.

The Home Care Alliance would like to share your nursing human interest stories next week across our various social media platforms, whether it’s a shout out to a team or a staff member.

Email Megan Fournier at mfournier@thinkhomecare.org to tell us why you love home care & hospice nurses – OR – share our post below and comment why!

Celebrate Nurses Week 2

Something for Everyone at 2018 NEHCC!

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There is something for everyone at the 2018 New England Home Care & Hospice Conference and Trade Show. See below just some of the topics that may be suited for you!

Clinical Directors

  • Stop Sepsis at Home: Learn from the Home Care Association of NY on how to equip your clinicians with educational/preventative, screening and follow-up tools to combat sepsis.
  • CoP Compliance: Discuss which key performance indicators have the most impact on quality and client outcomes.
  • Developing and Maintaining a Wound Care Program: Learn about the operational and clinical aspects of creating and/or maintaining your wound care program. Hear real agency examples of using best practices and guidelines and much more!
  • Emergency Preparedness Table Top: Join your peers to take part in a realistic table top simulation.

Quality

  • Communicating with CMS: Get a primer into the new patient-centered language of CMS
  • Metrics for CoP Compliance: Discuss which key performance indicators have the most impact on quality and client outcomes
  • Optimizing Operations Through Data Collection and Dissemination: Examine the changing healthcare landscape and focus on making operational decisions based on data. 

Private Duty

  • How the Age-Friendly Communities Movement Builds Partnerships: Hear local examples of how home care agencies can be involved in the movement to create “Age-Friendly Communities”
  • The Patient Experience: Learn strategies, action items, and tools to enable your agency to achieve improved patient experience while managing all other operational demands.
  • Problem Solving for Clients with Dementia: Learn how to engage direct care staff in active observation of the client, gather information, investigate and examine behaviors, and strategic problem solving. 

CEO

We have carved out an entire CEO track for you to enhance your skills and knowledge as well as engage with panelists, and peers.

  • Employee Recruitment and Retention: Hear successful and unsuccessful strategies to attract and retain top-tier talent.
  • Population Health: Gain the knowledge base you need to make decisions for the population you serve.
  • Home Health Groupings Model (HHGM): Learn from experts on how the final prospective payment system promises to offer the industry direction what what it means for agency strategy and capability heading into 2019.

Therapy

  • Embracing Our Physical Therapy and Occupational Scope of Practice in Home Care: This session will explore how therapy in the home has evolved and expanded and how this impacts you, your patients and your agency. 

Human Resources

  • Employment Law: Examine how various employment laws apply to the home care workforce and understand how to make sure your agency follows these laws and integrates in practice and your employee handbook.
  • Employee Retention: Learn specific approaches on how an agency can better engage the highest performers while still holding the lowest performers accountable and analyze the changing staff dynamics.
  • Engaging the Millennial Workforce: Hear how engaging the growing millennial workforce and understanding their mindset and motivation will be key for your agency in defining duties, assessing skill sets and identifying team leaders.

Finance

  • CFO Panel: Address management concerns, discuss operating efficiencies and internal financial controls and performance indicators.
  • How Population Health and Telemedicine Affect the Bottom Line: Learn how telehealth will show advancement in terms of improved patient satisfaction, increased patient census, reduced cost of care, and decreased nursing visits. 

Hospice & Palliative Care

  • Creating a Pediatric Palliative Care Program: Learn about the interface and collaboration between home care and hospital programs as well as the use of the National Consensus Project to guide current and future program development.
  • The Patient Experience: Learn strategies, action items, and tools to enable your agency to achieve improved patient experience while managing all other operational demands.
  • Ethics of Patient Choice and Aid-In Dying: Discuss how death with dignity/ aid-in-dying laws present new and evolving ethical and legal challenges for agencies in the states where it is legal, or where legislation is pending. 

There are even more break-out sessions to learn from and 5 keynotes not even mentioned! Be sure to take a look at the full brochure to learn about ALL sessions being offered at this years conference!

Go to http://www.NEHCC.com for more information and to register today!

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Palliative, End-of-Life Care Options Regulation Finalized

A provision  included in the state’s 2012 Health Care Cost Containment Law (Chapter 224) on palliative and end-of-life care options is being realized through a final regulation issued by the Department of Public Health.

It is now a patients legal right to receive information about palliative care and hospice from a facility as well as their full range of options for treatment, if the condition warrants either approach. Massachusetts hospitals, clinics and long-term care facilities are expected to comply.

The Home Care Alliance helped advocate for the inclusion of this provision in the law and also commented with several other provider groups and organizations at a public hearing when the regulations were proposed. At that time, the definition of palliative care in the proposed regulation was more in line with hospice services. The Alliance, among many other groups, expressed concern that palliative care is a team-based approach to an advanced illness, but not necessarily linked to the expected outcome of that illness as with hospice.

DPH has released a guide explaining the right to these options in several languages for consumers, a summary of what was changed from the proposed to the final regulation, and the regulation language itself. The list of resources can be viewed here on a DPH webpage.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

MA Cancer Prevention & Control Network Readying Palliative Care Survey for Home Care

The Massachusetts Comprehensive Cancer Prevention & Control Network (MCCPCN) is putting the finishing touches on a survey on palliative care geared towards treating cancer patients.

The Home Care Alliance is a part of an MCCPCN task force that built the survey, which will be distributed to agencies via email form DPH.  Agencies are strongly encouraged to take the time to respond. MCCPCN is under the Department of Public Health and a cover letter from Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett explains the reasoning and background to the survey as well as how it will help advance palliative care services.

Questions on this issue can be directed to James Fuccione at the Alliance.

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.

 

ODF for Home Health and Hospice, March 5th

The next Home Health, Hospice & DME Open Door Forum is scheduled for Wednesday,, March 5, 2014 at 2:00 PM

To participate by phone:

Dial: 1-800-837-1935 & Reference Conference ID: 71246014

Proposed Agenda

1. Opening Remarks

2. Announcements & Updates

  • Hospice and Part D
  • Hospice Claims Reporting
  • Hospice & CAHS
  • Hospice Quality Update
  • FY2015 and FY2016 reporting cycles
  • Hospice CAHPS survey
  • HH CAHPS
  • Home Health Quality Update

For details visit the ODF Website

Return to www.thinkhomecare.org.