ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization has contracted with Hill + Knowlton Strategies to develop and launch a "Reaffirming Hospice Campaign." This national campaign will reinforce the vital importance and quality of hospice to policy makers, healthcare professionals, and baby boomers.
"In 2010, an estimated 1.58 million patients, along with their family caregivers, received hospice services," said J. Donald Schumacher, NHPCO president and CEO. "But, despite this growth, there is still an ongoing lack of awareness about the full benefits of hospice and a need to utilize facts to develop increased understanding of the issues."
The campaign will also provide the expertise necessary to help NHPCO shape appropriate messages about hospice and palliative care to these audiences. In turn, NHPCO will share the results with provider members and utilize the information to develop essential resources.
Added Schumacher, "One of NHPCO's responsibilities, as a leadership organization, is to inform policy makers, the healthcare community, and the public about the ways hospice and palliative care benefits millions of people who are coping with serious, life-limiting illness. Further, as a membership organization, we must make the case to protect hospice from further Medicare cuts and return the focus of policy makers to the importance of maintaining quality care."
This one-year campaign will begin later this month (May 2012) with a qualitative research phase and focus groups. The campaign will then move on to quantitative research, campaign development and execution over the subsequent several months.
The first phase of the campaign will help policy makers gain a thorough understanding of the complex issues surrounding hospice care delivery, so decisions made are both fiscally sound and programmatically correct.
The second phase will focus on motivating healthcare professionals to refer to hospice earlier while motivating consumers to request it. This phase will include a comprehensive, innovative and diverse public relations and advertising strategy and implementation.
NHPCO will share more information as progress with the "Reaffirming Hospice Campaign" moves forward.
Individuals looking for more information about hospice and palliative care, advance care planning, dealing with pain and other issues involving serious and life-limiting illness, may visit NHPCO's Caring Connections website at www.CaringInfo.org.
Vice President, Communications
SOURCE National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization