2020 July Virtual Conference

2020 July Virtual Conference

  • Technical Introduction to Virtual Conference

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    Technical Introduction to Virtual Conference

    Join us for our opening conference remarks and guide to the virtual conference.

    Carrie Hoover

    Sr. Director, Education and Professional Development, NHPCO

  • Opening Keynote: The Future of QI: The Catalytic Effect of COVID-19

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    The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed the world as we knew it, especially in healthcare. However, amid the immense suffering and disruption, rays of sunlight are beginning to emerge. The power—and now urgency—of quality improvement in the healing of our patients, our communities, and ourselves is undeniable. This keynote will describe the QI philosophies and practical tools needed today, and showcase the amazing capacity of the human spirit to power us through.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed the world as we knew it, especially in healthcare.  However, amid the immense suffering and disruption, rays of sunlight are beginning to emerge. The power—and now urgency—of quality improvement in the healing of our patients, our communities, and ourselves is undeniable. This keynote will describe the QI philosophies and practical tools needed today, and showcase the amazing capacity of the human spirit to power us through.

    Learning Outcomes: 

    • Articulate the power of quality improvement in the COVID-19 era as not only a core business strategy, but as an approach to deepening meaning in healthcare
    • Describe the profile of a modern QI program, informed by the lessons of the pandemic   
    • Apply learnings and strategies to your daily work

    CE/CME Credit:
    Nurse, Physician, Non-Physician Healthcare Professional

    Laura Adams

    Special Advisor, National Academy of Medicine

    Laura is the founding President and CEO of the Rhode Island Quality Institute (RIQI), a center of collaborative innovation that advances health and healthcare transformation. Health Data Management named her to their 2018 Most Powerful Women in Health IT in the Thought Leader category and Becker’s Hospital Review named her to the 2018 inaugural list of Female Health IT Leaders to Know. She is currently co-chairing the National Academy of Medicine’s Health Data Trust Initiative Steering Committee. Laura serves on the Oversight Council for the MA Center for Health Information and Analysis and served on the Rhode Island Governor’s Workgroup on Healthcare Innovation. Laura served on the ONC’s Health Information Technology Policy Committee’s Governance Panel for the Nationwide Health Information Network. She chaired the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Planning Committee for the “Digital Infrastructure for Population Health and a Learning Healthcare System” initiative.

    Laura traveled in the U.S. and Europe with W. Edwards Deming in the study of statistical-based quality improvement. She was Founder, President and CEO of Decision Support Systems, a New York-based company specializing in Internet-based healthcare decision support. She has been a faculty member of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in Boston since its inception. She directed the IHI Idealized Design of the Intensive Care Unit project and served as faculty in the VHA’s ICU improvement collaborative and was the Principal Investigator on the RI Statewide ICU Collaborative. She was among the first to bring the principles of healthcare QI to the Middle East, in conjunction with Donald Berwick, MD and the Harvard Institute for Social and Economic Policy in the Middle East. She served as IHI faculty at the inaugural IHI Middle East Forum on Quality Improvement in Healthcare in Doha, Qatar.

    Laura has delivered conference keynotes in nearly every state in the union and in 13 different countries. RIQI won the National Council for Community Behavioral Health Excellence Award for Impact in serving those with behavioral health and substance abuse challenges. She has received citations from the RI Congressional delegation for her visionary leadership and contributions to improving the healthcare system in Rhode Island. Laura received University of Northern Colorado’s Distinguished Alumni award. Her company was named RI’s Most Innovative Company in Healthcare in 2015; was named 2017 Employer of Choice by the Employer’s Association of New England; and is a multi-year winner of RI’s Best Places to Work award from the Providence Business News. RIQI won the 2017 Innovation Award in Healthcare in Rhode Island, a national 2018 Healthcare Informatics Innovation Award for impact on the opioid crisis and was named a finalist for the 2018 New England Business Innovation award, again for impact on the opioid crisis.

  • Quality in Community-based Palliative Care Programs

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    This session will explore quality measurement and improvement in palliative care. The focus will be on community-based palliative care, how it differs from hospice quality reporting.

    This session will explore quality measurement and improvement in palliative care.  The focus will be on community-based palliative care, how it differs from hospice quality reporting.

    Learning Outcomes: 

    • Describe the need for quality measurement in community-based palliative care
    • Describe the different ways to use quality measurement to improve value

    CE/CME Credit: 
    Nurse, Physician, Non-Physician Healthcare Professional

    Arif Kamal, MBA,MD,MHS

    Associate Professor of Medicine and Physician Quality Officer, Duke University Medical Center

    Dr. Kamal is a medical oncologist, palliative medicine physician and health technology researcher, Associate Professor of Medicine at Duke University, and Physician Quality and Outcomes Officer at the Duke Cancer Institute. In these roles he studies the development and implementation of novel tools to engage seriously ill persons and their caregivers in their journey with illness, with the ultimate goal of improving quality of healthcare delivery.

    Dr. Kamal holds several influential national leadership positions, including with the Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement (PCPI), The Joint Commission (TJC), National Quality Forum (NQF), American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM). He has also won the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) Innovator Award and was selected as one the Top Influential Leaders Under 40 from AAHPM. He has published over 80 peer-reviewed articles in journals such as JAMA, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Annals of Internal Medicine, and Lancet Oncology. He holds grant funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), CMS Innovations Center, and Cambia Health Foundation.

    Dr. Kamal received his medical degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, completed Internal Medicine residency and Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship at the Mayo Clinic, and hematology/oncology fellowship at Duke University. He holds a Masters in Health Science in Clinical Research from Duke University and a Master in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst.

    Steve T. Pantilat, FAAHPM, MD, MHM

    Professor in Palliative Care and the Inaugural Chief of the Division of Palliative Medicine

    Dr. Pantilat is the Kates-Burnard and Hellman Distinguished Professor in Palliative Care and the inaugural Chief of the Division of Palliative Medicine at UCSF. Dr. Pantilat is an internationally recognized expert in Palliative Care. He serves as the Board Chair for the Palliative Care Quality Collaborative, a national organization dedicated to improving the quality of care for seriously ill people and their families. He also chairs the Advisory Board for the Cambia Health Foundation’s Sojourns Scholar Leadership Award and co-directs the UCSF Palliative Care Leadership Center. Dr. Pantilat has published over 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers, authored two dozen book chapters, and co-edited with colleagues at UCSF two textbooks on palliative care titled, “Care at the Close of Life” and “Hospital Based Palliative Medicine.” He is the author of, “Life After the Diagnosis: Expert Advice on Living Well with Serious Illness for Patients and their Caregivers” published by DaCapo Lifelong Books in 2017. Dr. Pantilat and the palliative care team at UCSF are featured in the Academy Award-nominated, Netflix documentary, “End Game."

  • How the PCQC Will Help You Succeed in Community-based Palliative Care

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    This session introduces the Palliative Care Quality Collaborative, how it enables palliative care programs to measure and improves the care provided to patients and families. Faculty will discuss practical examples from applications that leverage data for improvement.

    This session introduces the Palliative Care Quality Collaborative, how it enables palliative care programs to measure and improves the care provided to patients and families. Faculty will discuss practical examples from applications that leverage data for improvement.

    Learning Outcomes:

    • Describe the history and goals of the PCQC
    • Describe how the PCQC can help you measure, report, and improve quality

    CE/CME Credit: 
    Nurse, Physician, Non-Physician Healthcare Professional

    Steve T. Pantilat, FAAHPM, MD, MHM

    Professor in Palliative Care and the Inaugural Chief of the Division of Palliative Medicine

    Dr. Pantilat is the Kates-Burnard and Hellman Distinguished Professor in Palliative Care and the inaugural Chief of the Division of Palliative Medicine at UCSF. Dr. Pantilat is an internationally recognized expert in Palliative Care. He serves as the Board Chair for the Palliative Care Quality Collaborative, a national organization dedicated to improving the quality of care for seriously ill people and their families. He also chairs the Advisory Board for the Cambia Health Foundation’s Sojourns Scholar Leadership Award and co-directs the UCSF Palliative Care Leadership Center. Dr. Pantilat has published over 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers, authored two dozen book chapters, and co-edited with colleagues at UCSF two textbooks on palliative care titled, “Care at the Close of Life” and “Hospital Based Palliative Medicine.” He is the author of, “Life After the Diagnosis: Expert Advice on Living Well with Serious Illness for Patients and their Caregivers” published by DaCapo Lifelong Books in 2017. Dr. Pantilat and the palliative care team at UCSF are featured in the Academy Award-nominated, Netflix documentary, “End Game."

    Arif Kamal, MBA,MD,MHS

    Associate Professor of Medicine and Physician Quality Officer, Duke University Medical Center

    Dr. Kamal is a medical oncologist, palliative medicine physician and health technology researcher, Associate Professor of Medicine at Duke University, and Physician Quality and Outcomes Officer at the Duke Cancer Institute. In these roles he studies the development and implementation of novel tools to engage seriously ill persons and their caregivers in their journey with illness, with the ultimate goal of improving quality of healthcare delivery.

    Dr. Kamal holds several influential national leadership positions, including with the Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement (PCPI), The Joint Commission (TJC), National Quality Forum (NQF), American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM). He has also won the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC) Innovator Award and was selected as one the Top Influential Leaders Under 40 from AAHPM. He has published over 80 peer-reviewed articles in journals such as JAMA, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Annals of Internal Medicine, and Lancet Oncology. He holds grant funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), CMS Innovations Center, and Cambia Health Foundation.

    Dr. Kamal received his medical degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, completed Internal Medicine residency and Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship at the Mayo Clinic, and hematology/oncology fellowship at Duke University. He holds a Masters in Health Science in Clinical Research from Duke University and a Master in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst.

  • Home Based Palliative Care: Old and New Opportunities in the Rapidly Changing Medical Space

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    This presentation will review Hospice Buffalo’s 13 year experience with its home based Palliative Care program, Home Connections, in partnership with three local commercial insurance providers. The clinical and financial value of the program was demonstrated to the payers early and drove rapid program expansion. Home Connections now serves adult and pediatric patients, and recently expanded to include new partnerships with additional payers, ACOs, large practice groups and hospital systems. This session will review program structure, lessons learned, opportunities for marketing and outreach as well as new opportunities fueled by the pandemic, including telemedicine.

    This presentation will review Hospice Buffalo’s 13 year experience with its home based Palliative Care program, Home Connections, in partnership with three local commercial insurance providers. The clinical and financial value of the program was demonstrated to the payers early and drove rapid program expansion.  Home Connections now serves adult and pediatric patients, and recently expanded to include new partnerships with additional payers, ACOs, large practice groups and hospital systems.  This session will review program structure, lessons learned, opportunities for marketing and outreach as well as new opportunities fueled by the pandemic, including telemedicine.

    Learning Outcomes: 

    • Discuss the clinical and financial value of a CBPC program
    • Identify opportunities for marketing and expanding a CBPC program

    CE/CME Credit: 

    Nurse, Physician, Non-Physician Healthcare Professional

    Christopher Kerr, MD

    Chief Medical Officer & Chief Executive Officer, The Center for Hospice and Palliative Care

    Christopher Kerr is the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Executive Officer for The Center for Hospice and Palliative Care in Buffalo, New York. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Chris earned his MD as well as a PhD in Neurobiology. Outside of direct patient care, Chris’ focus is in the area of patient advocacy. His passion is palliative care and a belief that such care should be throughout the continuum of illness. Under Dr. Kerr’s medical leadership, Hospice Buffalo now serves over 1,000 adult and pediatric patients a day, more than half of whom receive services prior to hospice.

    Dr. Kerr’s background in research has evolved from bench science towards the human experience of illness. His research on patients end-of-life dreams and visions is the subject of his TEDx Buffalo Talk which has been viewed over 2.7 million times. It has been the subject of reports on The BBC, in The New York Times, The Washington PostThe Atlantic MonthlyScientific American Mind, Huffington Post, and Psychology Today. It will also be featured in an upcoming Netflix production and a documentary film to be released in 2020It has also gathered international attention and Dr. Kerr’s was published in a recently released book (Death Is But A Dream) by Penguin Random House.



  • Leading Person-Centered Care Through Continuous Quality Improvement

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    Hospice care is evolving through technology, information management, compliance requirements, and patient and family care expectations. Providing a high quality care experience in a patient-centered care model is a necessity and not just nice to have. Hospice organizations have one opportunity to deliver a quality end-of-life experience to patients and families and this is achieved by committing to a culture of continuous quality improvement and patient centered care. This session will explore the value proposition of transforming your organizational culture to focus on continuous quality and performance improvement and provide strategies for moving your team toward a pay-for-performance outlook.

    Hospice care is evolving through technology, information management, compliance requirements, and patient and family care expectations. Providing a high quality care experience in a patient-centered care model is a necessity and not just nice to have. Hospice organizations have one opportunity to deliver a quality end-of-life experience to patients and families and this is achieved by committing to a culture of continuous quality improvement and patient centered care. This session will explore the value proposition of transforming your organizational culture to focus on continuous quality and performance improvement and provide strategies for moving your team toward a pay-for-performance outlook.

    Learning Outcomes:

    • Explain the importance and application of patient-centered care and continuous quality and performance improvement
    • Discuss the impact of quality on future healthcare payment models

    CE/CME Credit:
    Nurse, Physician, Non-Physician Healthcare Professional

    Jennifer Kennedy, BSN,CHC,EdD,MA,RN

    Senior Director, Regulatory & Quality, NHPCO

    Jennifer is the Senior Director of Regulatory and Quality for the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization and has been with the organization since 2006.  She has more than 30 years of experience as a leader and nurse in diverse healthcare settings and has worked in hospice and palliative care for the last 18+ years.  She has a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, a dual master’s degree in health education and case management, and completed her doctoral degree in health care education and policy in March 2018.  Jennifer is a certified healthcare compliance professional and legal nurse consultant.  She serves as faculty at national and state conferences, writes articles for trade journals, contributes to health care publisher materials, develops education and resources for hospice and palliative care providers, and served on the ANA’s national palliative nursing task group in 2017.

    Sarah McSpadden, CHC,MSN,RN

    Chief Executive Officer, The Elizabeth Hospice

    Sarah has more than 20 years of experience leading home health, post-acute medical care, palliative care, and hospice programs. She is an active participant in hospice and regulatory compliance committees at the state and national levels. She serves as a member on the California Hospice and Palliative Care Association (CHAPCA) Education Committee, the national Quality and Standards Committee for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), the Hospice & Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA), and is certified in Healthcare Compliance by the Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA).

  • Connecting the Dots: Quality, Clinical Care, and Compliance

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    All healthcare entities, including hospice programs, must have a living breathing compliance plan. With healthcare moving toward pay for performance and public reporting of quality metrics, hospices must also be able to create and adhere to a quality improvement program that will demonstrate sustained quality of care delivery. This session will offer you an opportunity to “Connect the Dots” between quality and compliance in order to stay compliant with all regulatory requirements and on top of the leader board for quality of care delivery.

    All healthcare entities, including hospice programs, must have a living breathing compliance plan. With healthcare moving toward pay for performance and public reporting of quality metrics, hospices must also be able to create and adhere to a quality improvement program that will demonstrate sustained quality of care delivery. This session will offer you an opportunity to “Connect the Dots” between quality and compliance in order to stay compliant with all regulatory requirements and on top of the leader board for quality of care delivery.

    Learning Outcomes:

    • Verbalize an understanding of the required elements of a compliance plan
    • Develop a risk analysis identifying OIG risks in your program
    • Develop a root cause analysis of quality metrics having a negative impact on delivering quality patient care
    • Describe a compliance plan and quality improvement program that connects required elements of performance with exceptional patient care delivery

    CE/CME Credit: 
    Nurse, Physician, Non-Physician Healthcare Professional

    Sarah McSpadden, CHC,MSN,RN

    Chief Executive Officer, The Elizabeth Hospice

    Sarah has more than 20 years of experience leading home health, post-acute medical care, palliative care, and hospice programs. She is an active participant in hospice and regulatory compliance committees at the state and national levels. She serves as a member on the California Hospice and Palliative Care Association (CHAPCA) Education Committee, the national Quality and Standards Committee for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), the Hospice & Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA), and is certified in Healthcare Compliance by the Health Care Compliance Association (HCCA).

  • Sticky Wickets and Opportunities for Performance Improvement

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    On-call, patient transitions in care, managing patient falls…every hospice provider deals with these “sticky wicket” issues daily, even during a public health emergency (PHE). Every one of these issues is an opportunity to improve quality of care and hospice provider performance. This session will discuss common pain points in daily hospice operations and delivery of patient care and strategies for quality assessment and performance improvement as a vehicle for reaching service excellence.

    On-call, patient transitions in care, managing patient falls…every hospice provider deals with these “sticky wicket” issues daily, even during a public health emergency (PHE). Every one of these issues is an opportunity to improve quality of care and hospice provider performance. This session will discuss common pain points in daily hospice operations and delivery of patient care and strategies for quality assessment and performance improvement as a vehicle for reaching service excellence.

    Learning Outcomes:

    • Identify and discuss common and current PHE hospice care issues that are potential “sticky wickets” that impact the quality of patient care
    • Discuss strategies for quality assessment and performance improvement for these issues as a vehicle for reaching service excellence

    CE/CME Credit: 
    Nurse, Physician, Non-Physician Healthcare Professional

    Kanda Wurm, MSN, RN, CHPC

    Clinical Standards Manager, Harbor Light Hospice

    With twenty nine years of experience in nursing and management. Ms. Wurm has over seven years of hospice experience, with the last six years working for Harbor Light Hospice. She has worked as a Case Manager, Patient Care Manager, Executive Director, and currently works as the Corporate Clinical Standards Manager and Privacy Officer. Ms. Wurm holds a Certification in Healthcare Privacy Compliance which was obtained through Healthcare Compliance Association (HCCA), and sits on the Quality and Standards Committee for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). Ms. Wurm earned her master’s degree in nursing education from Chamberlain College of Nursing.

    Christine Nidd, CPHQ,MSW,PMP

    Manager of Quality and Compliance, Hospice of the Northwest

    Christine is the Quality and Compliance Manager at Hospice of the Northwest in Washington State. As a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality and a Project Management Professional with training as a Six Sigma Greenbelt, Nidd redesigns processes in a systematic way, leading and directing cross-functional teams to ensure projects are executed on schedule and within the allotted resources. When she is not scuba diving, she is frequently found hiking in the Cascade Mountain range or soaring above them in her hang glider.

  • Redesigning Care for Quality in Uncertain Times: A Pipe Dream or an Opportunity?

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    Using the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Care Redesign Guide, Dr. Jones will explore how to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic while holding fast to quality as your “North Star.” This session will help you put new strategies into action to prepare for a thoughtful, forward-thinking reemergence. This closing keynote presentation will challenge you and your team to move past fear and harness creativity to improve the lives of seriously ill people and their families.

    Using the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Care Redesign Guide, Dr. Jones will explore how to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic while holding fast to quality as your “North Star.” This session will help you put new strategies into action to prepare for a thoughtful, forward-thinking reemergence. This closing keynote presentation will challenge you and your team to move past fear and harness creativity to improve the lives of seriously ill people and their families.

    Learning Outcomes:

    • Define ‘care model’ and relate its major subparts to the practice of hospice and palliative care
    • Plan 2 strategies your organization can adopt for executing successful change

    CE/CME Credit: 
    Nurse, Physician, Non-Physician Healthcare Professional

    Christopher Jones, MD, HMDC, FAAHPM

    Director, Outpatient Non-Oncology Palliative Care Service, Penn Palliative Care

    Dr. Christopher Jones was born in Scranton, PA, the home of television’s ‘The Office’ and America’s Joe Biden. After attending The University of Scranton, he ventured to Philadelphia for medical school at Jefferson Medical College, fancying himself a future geriatrician. After graduating in 2006, Dr. Jones trained in General Internal Medicine at Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital and completed fellowships in both Geriatric Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine at Duke University, where he joined the palliative care faculty in 2011. 

    During his time at Duke, Dr. Jones developed an intense interest in the business of hospice and palliative medicine. He serves as a consultant for hospice and palliative care organizations nationally around provider billing and coding, EPIC templates and launch, and hospice level of care and eligibility determinations and completed his Master of Business Administration degree from East Carolina University. In 2015, he was awarded the designation Fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and chosen as one of Hospice and Palliative Medicine’s Inspirational Leaders Under 40. 

    Dr. Jones earned his Hospice Medical Director Certification in 2016 while working in community hospice and palliative care within the Main Line Health System outside Philadelphia. In 2016, he joined the faculty of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. After a time co-directing the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania’s inpatient palliative care consultation service, he is now the director of outpatient non-oncology palliative care for PennMedicine. His academic pursuits center on teaching clinicians the business of palliative care through writing and personally delivered trainings, improving rates of advance care planning documentation, and teaching the fellows who will become the next generation of leaders within hospice and palliative medicine."

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