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Hospice Palliative Care Leadership Conference Kicks Off with Focus on Healthcare Reform and the Release of New Pediatric Standards of Care
Date:4/22/2009

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization Welcomes 1,600 Professionals to DC

ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 1,600 hospice and palliative care leaders, managers and industry experts have gathered in Washington, DC this week, with issues involving healthcare reform a major topic of concern.

"Almost 30 percent of Medicare costs are for care provided during patients' last year of life, with an estimated 30 percent of that figure covering costs in the last month of life," said J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. "We are raising awareness of the important role hospice and palliative care should play in current debates on healthcare reform."

While many people think of hospice care primarily for elderly persons at the end of life -- 66 percent of hospice patients are over the age of 75, reports NHPCO -- care for children and families facing serious illness and death also figured prominently at the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization's 24th Management and Leadership Conference. The group released its first set of national standards for pediatric palliative and hospice care at the opening plenary session at the Omni-Shoreham Hotel.

The Standards of Practice for Pediatric Palliative Care and Hospice was developed by NHPCO and members of the Children's Project for Palliative/Hospice Services. The goal is to help hospice and palliative care providers develop safe, effective, and high-quality programming for children and their families facing serious and life-limiting illness.

In conjunction with the release of its pediatric standards, NHPCO released and hospice care in America.

Plenary speakers at the conference included White House health reform "czar" Nancy-Ann Min DeParle and advocate and author Elizabeth Edwards. Edwards was presented with the N
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SOURCE National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
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