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Why You Should Attend PPLC 2016

As leaders, we are required to be strategically aware of all of the forces impacting our markets -- whether regulatory, economic or political in nature. Maintaining the ability to keep a 30,000-foot focus and the ability to assess the granular details simultaneously are necessary as we're hit with a barrage of regulatory, administrative and market opportunities and challenges. 

Join Policymakers and Thought Leaders at the 2016 Public Policy Leadership Conference

By Joy M. Cameron, Vice President of Policy and Innovation

Whether you want to discuss the potential impact of new regulations, learn about the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing demonstration from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) or hear the latest analysis on the impact of socioeconomic status on clinical and financial performance, you need to be in Washington, D.C., September 14-15. 
At the 2016 Public Policy Leadership Conference, we are bringing policymakers and thought leaders most impacting the health care industry together with leaders in home-based services.

Update Public Policies to Recognize the Value of Nurses

By Tracey Moorhead, President and CEO

Health care is a complicated system involving many players. Most often, a discussion on health care centers around physicians, payers and patients, so it's all too easy to overlook those on the front lines of care: dedicated nurses. Nurses play a personal, hands-on role in the lives of their patients.

A Chance to Talk About Living: How a NY Times Bestseller Is Changing the End-of-Life Conversation

By Danielle Pierotti, RN, PhD, CENP
Vice President, Quality and Performance Improvement
At the closing general session of the 34th VNAA Annual Meeting, Dr. Lucy Kalanithi read from When Breath Becomes Air, a book written by her late husband, Dr. Paul Kalanithi, chronicling his end-of-life journey. Seeing and hearing the voice of the man through his wife was a singular experience to connect art with life. 
The book has been featured on the New York Times bestseller list for 12 weeks—an impressive accomplishment for any book. Voices large and small, from bookstores to talk radio to academics, are all struck by the raw, unflinching bravery Dr. Kalanithi used to describe his experience of having, managing and ultimately dying from cancer.

What's in A Star Rating?

Co-authored by the Alliance and Visiting Nurse Associations of America

Over the past few months, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) introduction of patient experience survey star ratings to Home Health Compare, as a way to better understand the overall patient experience with care provided through Medicare-certified home health agencies, has gained a lot of media attention.

While the jury is still out on the star ratings as a whole, home health agencies recognize that both quality of care and patient experience are critical. Agencies are learning from the issuance of the star ratings and are committed to improving their performance on both quality of care and patient experience.

Looking Back on a Landmark Year for VNAA

On behalf of the VNAA Board of Directors and staff, I write to express sincere gratitude to each of our outstanding members for supporting VNAA and believing in the deep importance of our mission. It has been a pleasure to serve you over the past year, and I look forward to the many opportunities we'll have to work together in 2016.

Among the many exciting developments to look forward to in the New Year are VNAA's newly announced partnership with the Alliance for Home Health Improvement and Innovation and the release of VNAA's 2016-2018 Strategic Plan.

As we say goodbye to 2015, we can reflect on what your support allowed VNAA to accomplish.

Assisting Vulnerable Clients to Access Nutritious Food


In February 2014, The National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH) released a study entitled The Health Consequences of Senior Hunger in the United States: Evidence from the 1999-2010 NHANES. Commissioned by NFESH and conducted by Dr. James P. Ziliak of the University of Kentucky and Dr. Craig Gundersen of the University of Illinois. This original researchexamines the correlation between food insecurity and negative health consequences among individuals age 60 and older in the United States over a period of a decade. The findings were definitive. Food insecure seniors “were at higher risk of experiencing negative nutrition and health consequences [emphasis added] than food secure seniors.”  This was found to be true for a wide array of negative health outcomes, including diabetes, congestive heart failure, depression, and asthma.

Ron Wyden Talks Home Health--Specifically, VNAs

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) spoke last week at a typically Washington, D.C. health briefing sponsored by National Journal. Wyden is Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee and a long time progressive advocate for health care reform. His remarks focus on "four major reforms in the next 50 years." His first likely reform is that Medicaid and Medicare will lead a revolution in caring for people at home. He mentions "non-medical" programs to "provide nutrition, fix floorboards and do things like mold checks" to keep people out of the hospital.

National Healthcare Decisions Day

Death and taxes - the only two inevitables. With April 15 as tax day, it's only fitting that April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day (or, a great day to discuss with your loved ones and care providers how you wish to live until the end). That means talking about what kind of care you want to receive and don't want to receive, where you want to be cared for, what your life goals are before you go, and what your loved ones should do if you can't communicate for yourself, among other issues.