National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization Joins National Collaborative Effort to Help Physicians and Consumers Discuss and Make Informed Healthcare Decisions

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Sept. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) has joined the list of consumer communication partners for Choosing Wisely®, a national campaign launched in April by the ABIM Foundation and Consumer Reports promoting informed healthcare decision making.

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The goal of Choosing Wisely is to promote conversations between physicians and patients about utilizing the most appropriate tests and treatments and avoiding care that is unnecessary.

In April, nine leading medical specialty societies announced lists of "Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question." Since then, 20 additional specialty societies, including the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, have joined with the ABIM Foundation to develop evidence-based lists of tests and procedures physicians and patients should talk about for various medical conditions. These lists will be announced in early 2013.

Consumer Reports is spearheading efforts to translate this critical healthcare information for consumers and is working with many other consumer and healthcare groups, such as NHPCO, to disseminate the information using patient-friendly language.

NHPCO, the nation's largest non-profit membership organization representing hospice and palliative care programs and professionals, is committed to improving care at the end of life and expanding access to hospice care. The organization has a strong commitment to increasing awareness and understanding of the importance of advance care planning, encouraging patients to explore their healthcare goals and wishes, share those with family members and discuss them with their medical team.

"Hospices help many people – including people recently diagnosed with a chronic or serious illness --  through a process of identifying what is most important to them, understanding treatment options and making each day the best that it can be," said Kathy Brandt, senior vice president of NHPCO. "Hospice professionals across the country are equipped to help patients and family members in thinking through what's best for them and sharing those wishes with their doctors, and will make great use of the information and materials developed through Choosing Wisely."

NHPCO will use its wealth of educational materials for professionals and consumers, in addition to its wide network of hospice programs to disseminate the information created by Choosing Wisely.

"Consumer Reports is very excited that NHPCO is promoting patient education and helping to improve patient relationships with physicians as part of the Choosing Wisely campaign. The campaign is a great way to help get these important messages about appropriate use of medical tests, treatments, and procedures out to a diverse population, and we are pleased that they will be partnering with us in this initiative," said John Santa, MD, MPH, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center.

For more information on Choosing Wisely, visit: www.consumerhealthchoices.org/campaigns/choosing-wisely or www.choosingwisely.org.

For information on advance directives, and helpful information on end of life care, visit NHPCO's consumer website, Caring Connections at: www.caringinfo.org.

Media Contact:
Jon Radulovic
NHPCO, Vice President of Communications
703-837-3139 
jradulovic@nhpco.org

SOURCE National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization



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