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NHPCO President/CEO Meets with Nancy-Ann Min DeParle at White House

DeParle to Speak at National Hospice Leadership Conference on April 24

ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Wednesday, April 8, J. Donald Schumacher, NHPCO president and CEO, joined an invitation-only meeting at the White House led by Nancy-Ann Min DeParle, the recently appointed Director of the White House Office of Health Care Reform and Counselor to the President. The invitation to this important meeting is an indicator of the commitment of the administration to including hospice and palliative care in healthcare reform initiatives.

Ms. DeParle asked Dr. Schumacher to discuss the potential opportunities that hospice could provide Medicare by increasing access to quality end-of-life care and reducing costs for the last year of life. The meeting was covered by C-SPAN and other federal news outlets.

"These issues - access to care and cost reduction - are ones that providers in the hospice community know very well. It's important that any exploration of healthcare reform include a discussion about the benefits that hospice and palliative care bring to the U.S. healthcare system," Schumacher said. "As we've said in some of our advocacy outreach, 'hospice provides more care that costs less,' and I was honored to be asked to share insights into the work we do."

Additionally, Ms. DeParle has graciously agreed to speak at NHPCO's upcoming Management and Leadership Conference in Washington, DC, which will be attended by more than 1,400 CEOs and managers who are running hospice and palliative care programs in the U.S. She will deliver remarks at the beginning of the plenary session on Friday, April 24, 2008. Possible issues she may discuss include potential ways hospice, and palliative care might be included in healthcare reform and an overview of the current healthcare reform activities in Washington.

Opportunities for conference attendees to learn more about healthcare reform efforts and to share thoughts and concerns will be a theme running throughout MLC. Ms. DeParle's participation increases the focus on this important issue.

Ms. DeParle brings a unique perspective from her past experiences to her new role as health reform "czar" for the Obama Administration. As a former commissioner of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, she has the background and knowledge to fully appreciate the complexities and intricacies of the U.S. healthcare delivery and payment system.

Many hospice providers are familiar with her work while she was head of the Health Care Financing Administration (now CMS) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In her tenure at HCFA, DeParle was a strong supporter of hospice access.

People interested in attending NHPCO's Management and Leadership Conference will find more information at and may register onsite at the conference. The conference runs April 23 - 25, 2009 at the Omni-Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC.

    Jon Radulovic
    NHPCO Vice President, Communications
    Ph: 703-837-3139

NHPCO is the oldest and largest nonprofit, leadership organization representing hospice and palliative care programs and professionals in the United States. NHPCO's mission is to lead and mobilize social change for improved care at the end of life.

SOURCE National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
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