Coalition Blog – #2 – Welcome to the second Coalition Blog Post! For a brief description of the Coalition, please see our previous blog.
Our nine Coalition Member Organizations and staff work collaboratively on a number of Coalition activities that can be categorized into two large “buckets” of work:
- Standard Coalition Activities (i.e., advancing the fields of hospice and palliative care through collaboration in the areas of advocacy, communication, and quality); and
- Overseeing the revisions to the National Consensus Project (NCP) Clinical Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care.
The Coalition Executive Committee oversees both these efforts. This blog post will focus on standard Coalition operations and activities; our next blog will discuss the NCP in more detail.
As part of its regular activities, the Full Coalition (with representatives from all nine organizations) meets monthly to discuss new opportunities, work through issues, and provide updates on ongoing initiatives. Most often, it will be the Full Coalition that makes decisions; however, sometimes decision making will fall to the Coalition Executive Committee which also meets monthly. Separate, smaller Coalition workgroups meet regularly to discuss topics in greater detail and will either take the lead or present recommendations to the full Coalition on significant opportunities:
Advocacy Workgroup: This Workgroup discusses and identifies legislative and regulatory opportunities and threats to the hospice and palliative care field and develops recommended positions for the coalition to consider. It also strategizes on potential outreach to new external partners and Coalition activity with Federal policymakers.
Communications Workgroup: Our newest Workgroup utilizes the communications staff expertise within the Coalition Membership to share work plans, develop messaging, and respond to media inquiries or opportunities.
Quality Workgroup: This Workgroup reviews opportunities to improve quality measures related to palliative care. This includes facilitating the nominations of subject matter experts to serve on Technical Expert Panels (TEPs), key committees from the National Quality Forum (NQF), and various opportunities from the National Academy of Sciences or other influential panels. This group also works together to comment on quality reports and measure specifications from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), identify funding opportunities for quality measure development and disseminating information to developers within the field.
- Coalition response to CMS Request for Information on potential new Medicare Guiding Principles and Models
- Coalition worked with eleven other national organizations to communicate key concerns to the new Administration focused on improving care for those with serious illness and their families
- Secured key meeting with the Senate Finance Committee, Chronic Care Working Group to make recommendations regarding proposed policy options. The Coalition was one of the organizations selected and invited to meet with committee staffers in person. This invitation was based on the strength of the diversity of the Coalition which was able to bring representatives from the full interdisciplinary team to Washington DC to meet with policy makers.
Quality and Standards
- Outreach to the Administration for Community Living to encourage key revisions to the draft principles for a patient-centered approach to serious illness.
- Nominations to the HHS Interagency for Pain Management Best Practices Task Force and the to the National Quality Forum, Palliative and Geriatrics Standing Committee
- Recommended experts from the interdisciplinary palliative care team (physicians, nurses, social workers and chaplains) who were successfully appointed to the National Quality Forum Palliative and End-of-Life Care Standing Committee
Communication and Outreach
- Coalition Executive Director represents the Coalition and serves on the National Academy of Sciences, Roundtable on Quality Care for People with Serious Illness
- Collaboration with the new Mapping Community Palliative Care project. This project, sponsored by the Center to Advance Palliative Care, a Coalition Member will build a comprehensive inventory of community-based programs across all service settings to develop estimates of palliative care access in communities across the country and track growth over time.
- Coalition endorsed the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) Patient and Caregiver Support for Serious Illness (PACSSI) payment model which has been submitted to the Physician-Focused Payment Model Technical Advisory Committee (PTAC). New payment mechanisms, based on patient need and disease severity, are required to provide palliative care services to patients in all stages of serious illness who are not yet eligible or willing to enroll in hospice care.
- Two coalition-sponsored webinars on the new CMS Quality Payment Programs that had a combined registration of 1,200.
This is the second in the Coalition bi-monthly blog series. Please submit your comments or questions below or to firstname.lastname@example.org. If there is a topic you would like to see in a future blog, please let us know.