CMS Innovation Awards Feature Hospice, Palliative and Care Continuum Initiatives

Jun 21, 2012, 12:10 ET from National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization

ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 21, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization congratulates those organizations that are recipients of the Health Care Innovation Grants recently announced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.


"Several of the funded projects are being conducted by hospice and palliative care leaders and are providing continuum services that could lead to an earlier transition to palliative hospice care," said J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of NHPCO. "The hospice and palliative care community is pleased to see attention to care at such an important period for patients and families."

The goal of the Innovation Awards is to deliver better health, improved care and lower costs to people enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), particularly those with the highest health care needs.

Programs featuring hospice and palliative leaders include:

  • Palliative Care Consultants of Santa Barbara is receiving an award to provide health care services to the frail elderly in times of crisis.
  • Suttercare Corporation is receiving an award to expand their Advanced Illness Management program, serving patients who have severe chronic illness but are not ready for hospice care, are in clinical, functional, or nutritional decline, and are high-level consumers of health care.
  • The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania are receiving an award to test a comprehensive set of home care services for Medicare and/or Medicaid beneficiaries with advanced cancer who are receiving skilled home care and have substantial palliative care needs, but are not yet eligible for hospice care.
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham is receiving an award extending a regional network of lay health workers to expand comprehensive cancer care support services and ensure better adherence to evidence based care plans, reduced reliance on hospitals and emergency rooms for care, earlier acceptance of palliative and hospice services, and a better overall quality of life for cancer survivors.

NHPCO has long supported the study and development of a continuum of care that would educate and inform patients and family caregivers.  Earlier access to hospice and palliative care services have been shown to reduce hospitalizations and emergency room visits for people facing serious and life-limiting illness. Family caregivers have also reported higher quality of life and greater satisfaction with care services when discussions about goals and priorities and advance care planning happen in a timely manner.

More information about advance care planning and coping with serious illness can be found on NHPCO's Caring Connections website at

To learn more about NHPCO's focus on the continuum of care, please contact:
Jon Radulovic
NHPCO, Vice President of Communications
Ph: 703-837-3139

SOURCE National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization