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VNAA - Visiting Nurse Associations of America


Annual Meeting Hospice-Specific Offerings:

Is your hospice and home health agency is looking for that "edge" or "leg up" on the latest and greatest hospice and palliative care best practices?

If yes, we strongly encourage you and your hospice staff to not miss the premiere event for hospice and home health agencies - the VNAA Annual Meeting! The conference will provide best pracitices and help answer your questions on topics such as QAPI, U-Shaped Curve, pain therapies, quality reporting, regulation updates, business development, palliative care best pracitices and more. There will be robust hospice and home care education sessions, networking opportunities, Exhibit Hall and Hospice Interest Group, etc. Our Education Committee has also prepared a very strong hospice program for this year's meeting.

Featured Speakers:

  • Dr. Ira Byock (Director of Palliative Medicine at Dartmouth)
  • Dr. Mary Wakefield (HRSA)
  • Kim Neuman (MedPAC)
  • Deborah Randall (attorney, hospice/homecare expert)
  • Neleen Rubin (Mizeur Group)

Hospice Roundtable Interest Group Meeting:

  • Kim Neuman is the Senior Analysts for hospice issues at the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC). Prior to joining MedPAC in July 2008, Neuman spent nine years at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). At CMS, Neuman served in a variety of capacities, including as a technical advisor on Medicare Part B and Part D drug issues, as the Acting Deputy Director of the Division of Outpatient Care, and most recently, as a technical advisor on inpatient hospital issues. Neuman will be joining the Hospice Roundtable for an interactive discussion of issues in the hospice field.


Public Policy Forum:

  • Do not miss this opportunity to get the "inside scoop" on how federal legislation and regulations will impact your hospice and home health program. This session is designed to be interactive so come prepared for the lively question and answer period, which will follow brief presentations.

    Neleen Rubin, currently a Principal with the Mizeur Group, was the key Senate Finance Committee staffer on Medicare Part A provisions during negotiations on the Affordable Care Act. Deborah Randall, of Deborah Randall Consulting, has more than 25 years of experience working with hospices and home care agencies on regulatory issues, compliance, fraud and abuse and reimbursement. This session will be moderate by Kathleen Sheehan, VNAA's Vice President for Public Policy.


Breakout Sessions Focused on Hospice:

(click here to read see all breakout descriptions...)

  • Breakout 1 - B: Data Driven Performance Improvement/HOSPICE

    Title: The Latest Evolution in Hospice Public Reporting: Quality Measures and QAPI

    Faculty: Roger Herr, PT, MPA, COS-C, OCS HomeCare, Seattle, WA

    This session will identify hospice measures and current benchmarks and explore measurements to be tested for quality reporting. Understanding unique measures for hospice and how they integrate into post-acute care reform is essential for the future of hospice. This session provides insight into the types of Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QAPI) measure and activities hospices have been engaged in for the first year after the CMS Conditions on Participation (COP) requirement. Additionally, this session will provide information on Performance Improvement Projects (PIP) topics, QAPI team structure and organization, along with related results, to give insight to how hospice organizations are meeting the intent of the QAPI aspects of the COPs. The program will encourage sharing of information, networking on ideas, results and explore what is next.

    This program is not eligible for contact hour.

  • Breakout 2 - C: Organizational Culture /HOSPICE

    Title: Simplifying Access to VNA Services

    Faculty: Ron North, VNA Health Group, Hainsport, NJ
    Wayne Whelan, VNA Health Group, Hainsport, NJ
    Charles Wurth, VNA Health Group, Hainsport, NJ

    Discover how one organization successfully dealt with the challenges of antiquated workflow and processes during a time of rapid growth by designing and implementing a new customer-centric "Access Center" aimed at improving customer focus and access throughout the statewide organization. This presentation will take you through their process to define their challenges including outdated technology, operational needs taking priority over customer needs, and mis-matched staff qualifications and their transition to a state-of-the-art, agency-wide multi-channel "Access Center". The results - significant improvement in customer access and experience, appropriate staff accurately matched to business need, and increased efficiencies through redesigned workflows.

    Contact Hour: 1.25

  • Breakout 2 - D: Clinical Care/ HOSPICE

    Title: Becoming an Alzheimer's Whisperer: Gentle and Loving Management of Challenging Behaviors

    Faculty: Dr. Verna Benner Carson, PMH/CNS-BC, C&V Senior Care Specialists, Fallston, MD
    Katherin Johnson Vanderhorse, BSN, C&V Senior Care Specialists, Williamsville, NY

    Becoming an Alzheimer's Whisperer means that we learn to calm the fears of the person caught up in this terrible disease, that we courageously enter that person's world and heal their broken spirits. Some people are naturally gifted in doing this. The rest of us can learn. The technique for becoming a Whisperer is derived from the Theory of Retrogenesis - which is easy to understand and apply. The understanding and application of this theory does not require that caregivers memorize a list of responses but rather provides a way of thinking about the meaning and appropriate responses to challenging behaviors. Come learn how you too can become an Alzheimer's Whisperer.

    Contact Hour: 1.25

  • Breakout 2 - E: Strategies for Reducing Readmissions/HOSPICE

    Title: Compete or Face Extinction: Coming Out on Top as the Hospice Industry Changes

    Faculty: Dave C. Fielding, Hospice of Palm Beach County, West Palm Beach, FL
    Barbara Ivanko, LCSW, Hospice of Palm Beach County, West Palm Beach, FL

    The hospice industry is in a state of tremendous transition. Not every hospice that has thrived in the past will continue to do so in the future, unless they are willing to re-evaluate and change their approach to doing business. This session focuses on some "old school" ways of hospice thinking that will hurt your hospice moving forward, and identifies strategies for sales, service, quality and culture that will ensure that your hospice does not go the way of the once great, but now extinct, dinosaur. Learn how your agency can survive and come out on top.

    This program is not eligible for contact hour.

  • Breakout 3 - A: Business Growth in a Competitive Environment/HOSPICE

    Title: How to Exponentially Grow Your Bereavement Program: Partnering with Interns and Trainees

    Faculty: Chris Taich, MSW, LCSW, Pathways Home Health and Hospice, Sunnyvale, CA
    Shaguna Wilkes, Pathways Home Health and Hospice, Sunnyvale, CA

    In a time when hospices are looking to do more with less, utilize the natural linkage between your Volunteer and Bereavement programs to expand services to grieving families, increase your visibility in your community, and create a robust and sustainable bereavement intern program. In this session, faculty will provide practical and low-cost tools to extend bereavement services from the traditional model of phone calls and mailings to include: Inter Disciplinary Groups support, group facilitation and individual counseling through the creative use of interns and trainees. This session will provide inside knowledge to start an intern bereavement program from the ground up; how to best utilize your existing agency resources and include a question and answer session for participants.

    Contact Hour: 1.25

  • Breakout 3 - C: Organizational Culture/ HOSPICE

    Title: Proven Strategies to Drive Business Objectives

    Faculty: Lisa Salamone, MPA, Visiting Nurse Association of Northern New
    Jersey, Morristown, NJ
    Faith Scott, FACHE, Visiting Nurse Association of Northern New Jersey, Morristown, NJ

    Utilizing the science and methodology of the Predictive Index Tool, faculty will present an in-depth case study which will serve demonstrate the art of driving employee performance in an effort push organizational change, innovation and leadership. During the session, faculty will provide in-depth knowledge and proven strategies on how to leverage employee engagement, change an organization's culture and ultimately, drive business objectives. Participants will learn their own behavioral styles and how best to adapt their style to tangible by products that include increased retention of their workforce, increased productivity, increased profitability, and overall increased patient satisfaction.

    Contact Hour: 1.25

  • Breakout 4 - A: Business Growth in a Competitive Environment/HOSPICE

    Title: How Building Your Brand Will Drive Your Organization's Growth

    Faculty: Rosemary Breehl, CBS, Breehl Traynor & Zehe, Cleveland, OH
    Claire Zangerle, MSN, MBA, RN, VNA of Ohio, Cleveland, OH

    In today's increasingly competitive home health care environment, it's essential that VNA organizations build, nurture and protect their brands. But building a strong VNA brand that stands out among the competition is not just the creation of a logo, tagline, Website or great ad campaign. Those are simply tactics. In this program, a VNAA member CEO will talk about its journey to build its brand in Northeastern and Central Ohio, the necessary steps to build a VNA brand that stands out from the competition and show examples of some of the VNA of Ohio's brand communication. Participants will understand why differentiation is as important to nonprofits as it is to for-profit organizations, learn why internal brand adoption is so essential and identify the steps to building a powerful VNA brand.

    Contact Hour: 1.25

  • Breakout 4 - D: Clinical Care/HOSPICE

    Title: Improving the Experience of Short-Stay Patients: A QAPI Approach

    Faculty: Terri Gross, RN, BS, CHPN, Hospice of Dayton, Dayton, OH
    Mary Murphy, RN, MS, AOCN, ACHPN, Hospice of Dayton, Dayton, OH

    Although greater numbers of patients avail themselves of hospice care at end of life, the length of stay for many is less than one week. Short stays in hospice care put patients and caregivers at increased risk for poor outcomes. This session describes a Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QAPI) project designed to improve the care of patients whose time in hospice is expected to be short. Participants will learn how to predict short stay patients, develop best practices and monitor outcomes of care. Participants will be also be able to describe current trends in hospice length of stay, identify clinical indicators that predict a short prognosis of seven days or less and will be able to describe quality indicators to monitor patient outcomes.

    Contact Hour: 1.25


Poster Sessions Focused on Hospice

(click here to read see all poster descriptions...)

  • Poster 2 - Business Growth/ HOSPICE

    Title: Enhancing Physician Loyalty

    Faculty: Cynthia A. Bielecki, RN, MS, CS, VNA of Care New England, Warwick, RI
    Andrew Eaves, VNA Health Care, Hartford, CT
    Mia Millefogie, MA, HomeHealth Visiting Nurses, Saco, ME
    Lynda Carol Smith, MA, Christiana Care VNA, New Castle, DE

    As we move toward implementation of the Affordable Care Act, home health agencies will need to engage more actively in shared models of accountability. As an industry, we will be required to strongly articulate and prove the value of home health care to our stakeholders. This work requires us to engage in new market strategies that build on physician loyalty, improved communication and efficiencies. Learn how four system-affiliated home health agencies joined forces in a focused needs assessment, analyzed and aligned key findings and defined best practices to strengthen physician relationships. This session also will preview the launch of several pilot projects built on improving physician and home health agency collaboration in health systems.

    Contact Hour: 0.5

  • Poster 6 - Operations/ HOSPICE

    Title: Project Management: Key to Organizational Success

    Faculty: Jane McLeod, MA, BSN, RN, Pathways Home Health and Hospice, Sunnyvale, CA
    Georgia Rock COO, MBA, RHIT, Pathways Home Health and Hospice, Sunnyvale, CA

    The leadership in most home health and hospice organizations face multiple, conflicting and/or competing priorities which makes it next to impossible to make rapid, strategic course corrections. It is indeed difficult to keep all the plates spinning while developing new, strategic programs and collaborative partnerships in order to meet the rapidly changing face of this industry. Project management is evidence-based systematic, proactive approach to plan, organize and implement projects in order to efficiently and effectively meet the strategic goals and objectives of an organization. This poster session will give attendees new, easily applied project management tools.

    Contact Hour: 0.5

  • Poster 10 - Operations/ HOSPICE

    Title: Using IT to Connect Homecare Physicians and Other Providers

    Faculty: Thomas Check, Visiting Nurse Service of New York, New York, NY

    Visiting Nurse Service of New York utilizes Health Information Exchange (HIE) to connect with physicians in multiple ways: a Web based portal for physicians to manage their home care patients and to sign and change the Plan of Care, submitting patient data to Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs) so the patient will receive better-informed care by physicians and hospitals, and receiving immediate alerts when patients present at an emergency department. This sends alert from VNSNY's Electronic Medical Record (EMR) directly to the physician's EMR. For each type of exchange, the presentation will describe what it is, what data is exchanged when, how this benefits both physicians and VNSNY, and the volume of usage attained to date. This presentation will emphasize what VNAs can do, on their own and in conjunction with their EMR vendors, to take advantage of HIE in their own service areas.

    This program is not eligible for contact hour.

  • Poster 16 - Patient Care/ HOSPICE

    Title: Electronic Health Records: The New Meaning and Power of Clinical Documentation

    Faculty: Karen S. Martin, RN, MSN, FAAN, Martin Associates, Omaha, NE
    Karen Utterback, MSN, RN, McKesson, Springfield, MO

    Electronic Health Records (HER) use is spreading rapidly throughout home health care, hospice, and palliative care settings. Mandates are requiring the use of standards, standards intended to enable multidisciplinary clinicians to share assessment, intervention, and outcome data seamlessly. The Omaha System is a standardized terminology that can be incorporated within EHRs and point-of-care solutions to support practice, information management, and interoperability; improve and streamline documentation; and strengthen patients' experience and quality of care. Clinicians, managers, administrators, and software providers need to work together to maximize the power of EHRs.

    Contact Hour: 0.5


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