VNA Care was well represented at this week’s “Advocacy Intensive 2016” sponsored by the Hospice Action Network, as nearly 300 representatives from hospice agencies descended on Washington, DC to meet with members of their respective Congressional leaders and their staff on issues of importance to hospice.
Among those participating included included Daiva Braunfelds, Vice President of VNA Hospice & Palliative Care, Dr. James Baker, Medical Director of VNA Hospice & Palliative Care and Kathy Keough, Director of Government Relations for Atrius Health, who also works closely on home care, hospice and palliative care issues on behalf of VNA Care.
Attendees participated in a day-long program that included a variety of topics including advocacy, a deep-dive into hospice policy issues, and a panel of Congressional staffers who provided perspectives on the presidential election and what’s ahead for Congress once they come back in session in the fall. In addition, attendees were briefed on several important pieces of legislation before Congress of importance to hospice caregivers and their patients including HR 5555 (Personalize Your Care Act) , S 1549 (Care Planning Act) and opposition to Medicare Advantage Carve-in of Hospice that has been proposed by the Senate Finance Committee’s Chronic Care Working Group.
Ms. Braunfelds, Dr. Baker and Ms. Keough then met with several members of the Massachusetts Congressional staff members including Congressman Jim McGovern, Congresswoman Katherine Clark and Nicki Tsongas as well as Senator Edward Markey. The meetings provided a valuable opportunity to talk about the importance of advance care planning and hospice in general, and several participants expressed an interest in visiting one of the hospice residences operated by VNA Care or to see our hospice caregivers in action.