NHPCO Showcases Examples of Hospices Expanding the Continuum of Care
ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization has released a compendium of articles originally published in its member publication NewsLine that demonstrate ways in which hospice programs are working to create a more seamless continuum of care for patients and families.
The 11 articles that comprise this new compendium are part of a monthly feature, Hospice in the Continuum, which first appeared in NewsLine in March 2011. Hospice in the Continuum shines a light on hospice organizations which have expanded services or has partnered with other community organizations to reach patients earlier in the illness trajectory—before they may need hospice care.
Family Hospice and Palliative Care in Pittsburgh is working in partnership with two local faith communities to better serve African Americans in the city's Greater North Side. Carolina East Home Care & Hospice began providing case management and adult day services. Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley entered into a partnership with three area hospitals to help ensure availability of palliative care services. Hospice & Palliative Care of Greensboro is working in collaboration with a health system and a home-health agency to create PACE of the Triad—one of the nation's 75 "Program for All-Inclusive Care of the Elderly" sites.
In a question and answer format, readers learn of the challenges, the benefits, and the lessons learned from senior leadership of each organization featured.
NHPCO President and CEO J. Donald Schumacher has been a champion for the continuum of care and on many occasions called for hospice providers to be engaged with the creation of the continuum in their communities and nationwide.
"Hospices are the experts in treating serious and life-limiting illnesses and, therefore, must be at the forefront of the development of a seamless continuum of care," said Schumacher.
When there is a seamless care continuum, providers work together to develop a coordinated plan that addresses physical, emotional, social, spiritual, caregiving, nutritional, safety and other needs. In some communities one or two agencies work together to offer a range of services along the continuum, while in other communities multiple organizations work together to ensure that needs are met. The common thread is that all models feature conversations about when and how to infuse palliative care throughout the disease trajectory.
"We can learn from these forward-thinking, continuum-focused providers who are out in their communities, building a footprint for end-of-life care that is not all about the 'six-month' criteria of the Hospice Medicare Benefit," Schumacher added.
Hospice in the Continuum: NHPCO Compendium (PDF) may be downloaded free at nhpco.org/access.
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J. Donald Schumacher
Vice President, Communications
SOURCE National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization