Edo Banach Invited to Coronavirus Briefing at White House
(Alexandria, Va) – National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s (NHPCO) President and CEO Edo Banach was honored to attend a briefing at the White House hosted by President Donald Trump this afternoon. The President and members of his Administration marked this event by focusing on special Administration initiatives designed to address the unique needs of our nation’s seniors during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The President was joined by Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Azar, Veterans Administration Secretary Wilkie, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Verma, FEMA Administrator Gaynor, and Ambassador Birx who is serving as the White House Coronavirus Coordinator.
The Administration has demonstrated support for hospice and palliative care providers who are on the frontlines and caring for the elderly and seriously ill in their communities – in their homes and outside of hospitals – helping to decompress the health care system during this crisis.
NHPCO worked in close collaboration with the Administration on several important efforts as part of the COVID-19 response. NHPCO worked with CMS as they issued 1135 blanket waivers and expanded the use of telehealth and virtual visits which has significantly improved access to needed care while mitigating the spread of the virus. NHPCO also provided timely input to the Administration as HHS distributed the CARES Act Provider Relief Funds which have addressed some of the financial hardship hospice and palliative care providers are experiencing during this national emergency.
NHPCO looks forward to continued collaboration with the Administration and Congress and offers recommendations specifically related to bereavement support and community-based palliative care.
Across the nation, hospice and palliative care grief counselors and bereavement professionals are helping the loved ones and family caregivers of patients for whom they have served. They often make their expertise available to the broader community as well. These professionals – who are valued members of the interdisciplinary team have stepped up to serve in the wake of natural disasters, public health crises, and mass casualty events. Through existing mental health grant programs, hospices would be well positioned to scale their grief and bereavement programs to meet the needs of those suffering from the trauma brought on by COVID-19 including veterans and frontline health care workers.
The transformation of the health care delivery system we are experiencing today has exposed us to the extraordinary need for care that is offered in communities and outside of hospitals. To meet this urgent need, NHPCO has proposed a (Disaster Relief) Community-Based Palliative Care Demonstration model designed to deliver person-centered and interdisciplinary care – the type of care which has been shown to reduce hospital stays, visits to the emergency department, and burden on the health care workforce.
“The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization thanks the President and his Administration for enacting policies that support our providers as they care for our nation’s seniors who are the most vulnerable suffering from COVID-19. We as a professional community stand ready to work with the Administration to go further by offering bereavement support to survivors, veterans, frontline health care workers, caregivers, and the broader community to help them step beyond the shadow of grief. Through NHPCO’s proposed Community-Based Palliative Care demonstration, we hope to expand access to care that is person-centered and interdisciplinary for COVID-19 patients who are treated at their homes and back in their communities.”
NHPCO will continue to work with the Administration to help decompress the health care system and treat patients and their families as well as save lives during this public health crisis,” added Banach.
NHPCO has created a number of resources that are available at no cost on the organization’s website at www.nhpco.org/coronavirus.
As the leading organization representing integrated, person-centered healthcare, NHPCO gives ongoing inspiration, practical guidance, and legislative representation to hospice and palliative care providers so they can enrich experiences for patients and ease caregiving responsibilities and emotional stress for families.