Our Founder and CEO, Jeremy Powell recently sat down with Dr. Karen Wyatt, End of Life University to participate in a podcast: “Technology Advances for End-of-Life Care”. During this episode, Jeremy and the host discuss how technology can help solve some of the greatest challenges in the provision of end-of-life care, how technology can help more patients be referred for hospice and palliative care in a timely manner, and why technology should be embraced.
Dr. John Mulder and Acclivity were recently featured in The Hospice Explained podcast entitled, Dr. John Mulder – Pioneering Member of Palliative Care Specialty. This podcast series covers topics spanning the differences between palliative and hospice, how technology can impact healthcare, and the stigma of other Doctors referring to hospice or palliative care for their patients.
Our very own, Dr. John Mulder, recently sat down with Dr. Karen Wyatt of End of Life University in her newest podcast episode: “Palliative Care: What’s Needed Now and in the Future”. During their conversation, they covered topics spanning Dr. Mulder’s background and how he got into the specialty, the difference between hospice and palliative care, addressing physician burnout, improving patient outcomes and quality of life, the importance of educating peers, attracting new talent, as well as his work with Acclivity and how technology can assist with referrals.
Across the country, hospice organizations are competing for clinical staff from the same limited pool of eligible applicants. Even before COVID, demand for clinicians, nurses, and social workers outpaced supply. The pandemic has exacerbated the shortage, resulting in early retirements or resignations from the field to focus on non-patient care areas or different careers altogether.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the U.S. will need 11 million additional nurses over the next decade to avoid further shortage. With inadequate faculty to teach new nurses and a limited number of preceptorships available to train them, meeting the demand for registered nurses may be close to impossible. The shortage of social workers, especially in rural areas, is estimated in the tens of thousands and also creating challenges. The field is not attracting enough new workers to replace retiring Baby Boomers. At the same time, multiple sectors are competing for social workers with the advanced degrees required for the job.
Since we can’t magically increase the number of licensed clinicians available for hire, it’s time to reimagine the way hospices use staff to manage the care of patients and meet both their medical and social needs.Read more
The journey toward value-based care remains uncertain, yet impactful for hospice. Providers and payers of all walks are taking a sharper look at hospice as the value-based insurance design (VBID) demonstration project approaches its second year. Hospices need a seat at the bargaining table in order to maintain control of their financial destiny, according to industry stakeholders.
Commonly called the Medicare Advantage hospice carve-in, the demonstration project took effect Jan. 1. The intention of the program is to increase access to hospice services and facilitate better care coordination, according to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The carve-in is designed to assess payer and provider performance related to hospice within Medicare Advantage. Participation in the demonstration is voluntary for both payers and providers.
The carve-in changes the ways participating hospices receive payment for their services. In the VBID arena, hospice providers accept greater financial risk in exchange for incentives for improving quality or reducing costs.
Our very own Robin Stawasz and our client, Kevin Hohnbaum, business development manager at Willamette Valley Hospice, recently co-authored an article entitled: “Finding Your Value and Sharing it With Others” that appears in the Fall 2021 quarterly addition of the NHPCO Newsline newsletter.
In the article, they help explain the importance of how hospices should be finding their place in the evolving healthcare landscape, as well as providing a Payment Model Primer.
Read the full article that can be found on page 6 here.
Timely notification of hospital ED visits and admittances means greater collaboration between local health providers
July 27, 2021, JACKSONVILLE, FL – Willamette Valley Hospice & Palliative Care, Acclivity Health, and Reliance eHealth Collaborative have partnered to improve care coordination for hospice, palliative, and seriously ill patients in Oregon. Information is not always able to be shared between doctor’s offices, hospitals, and hospice and palliative care providers. This makes it harder to get a patient the care they need in a timely manner. This partnership is closing the communication gap between healthcare groups by offering a way providers can easily and securely connect and collaborate on the best care for their patients.
“Our goal is to ensure patients with advanced illness receive the right care at the right time in the right setting,” said Jeremy Powell, CEO of Acclivity Health. “Clinical care coordination between primary care providers, hospice and palliative organizations, home care providers, and others has historically been disconnected, leaving providers with only fragments of information about a particular patient. Our collaboration with Willamette Valley Hospice and Reliance will strengthen relationships across care communities throughout Oregon to help providers make informed decisions together about care plans that address patients’ clinical needs while honoring their dignity, values, and wishes.”
Willamette Valley Hospice & Palliative Care is based in an area with multiple health systems, making it difficult for hospice and palliative care providers to track when a patient has gone to a hospital. Through this partnership, Reliance’s Health Information Exchange services, delivered via the Acclivity Health Connected Care platform, notifies Willamette Valley Hospice & Palliative Care when a patient goes to an emergency department, hospital, or urgent care environment. This allows for more rapid, effective intervention by the hospice or palliative team on the patient’s behalf, helping them advise hospital providers on the patient’s condition, end-of-life wishes, and/or how to transition them into appropriate care after discharge. In some cases, the organization can be notified before the admission process is complete, allowing them to intervene and prevent unnecessary admissions.Read more
Evolving value-based payment models can promote system integration of palliative care, posing risks and opportunities for participating hospice providers.Hospices will need to be proactive in building relationships with payer networks to reap the full benefits of these programs.
A growing number of hospices have been diversifying their services to engage patients further upstream and open new revenue streams. Palliative care is among the most common new business lines, with hospices representing an estimated 50% of community-based palliative care providers nationwide, according to the Center to Advance Palliative Care.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently unveiled their Primary Care First (PCF) model to improve the quality of care for Medicare patients while reducing costs. PCF consists of two different payment model options and is based on the Comprehensive Primary Care Plus program. This new model will be offered in 26 states and regions beginning January 1, 2020, and may roll out to additional regions as early as 2021.
The Seriously Ill Population (SIP) model under PCF is designed for high-need, high-risk patients who are receiving fragmented or inadequate care. CMS seeks to better coordinate their care and avoid costly hospitalizations. To achieve this, CMS will be assigning SIP patients to participating organizations, and paying the providers a per beneficiary, per month fee to coordinate their care and keep them out of the hospital. Additional reimbursement is available for face-to-face visits and for achieving quality targets. Here are four reasons hospices should seriously consider participating in the SIP model:Read more
Acclivity Health’s Chief Innovation and Advocacy Officer explains why patients and families shouldn’t hesitate to seek hospice care.
As seriously ill patients near the end of life, it is often suggested that hospice care become part of their health care plan. Unfortunately, patients often enroll in these services too late to reap the full benefits. Dianne Gray, Chief Innovation and Advocacy Officer at Acclivity Health, says this is often due to a stigma that surrounds hospice care.Read more