WASHINGTON, June 6, 2023 – The National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation (NPHI), and its members, released a field-building blueprint today titled, “People Over Profits: A Values-Based Movement for Declining Health.” The report focuses on how individuals in declining health often undergo expensive, invasive treatments or procedures, rather than care that respects their values and addresses social determinants of health.
In recent decades, public trust in the US healthcare system has eroded, driven largely by perceptions about profiteering and high costs. A recent national survey NPHI commissioned for the blueprint found that only 18% of Americans trust the healthcare system to put their well-being ahead of profits – this widespread distrust is particularly problematic in the context of declining health. The report notes that marginalized communities have historically registered the highest degrees of distrust and often delay care as a result.
The proliferation of for-profit private equity hospice providers is emphasized throughout the report. These types of business models are designed to benefit from high profit margins within the Medicare hospice benefit and there have been several instances of bad actors putting profits over people. Such cases further diminish public trust in healthcare and highlight the system’s shortcomings in addressing the issues facing America’s elderly and seriously ill populations. The founding community-based hospice and palliative care organizations, on the other hand, directly address these concerns by focusing on symptom management, emotional wellbeing, family and caregiver support, home-based care, and social determinants of health – principles that have recently gained wider purchase among public health advocates.
“For more than 50 years, nonprofit providers who serve patients and families in declining health have built a reputation for delivering elite care in often chaotic circumstances,” said; Tom Koutsoumpas, NPHI CEO. “In addition to this blueprint, we will continue to spend the coming months and years advocating tirelessly with our members; to raise the standards of advanced illness care for patients and their families across the nation.”
The blueprint demonstrates that community-based, values-oriented organizations that serve the needs of those in declining health are the original architects of quality, patient-centered, home-based care. As the US grapples with shifting patient preferences, widespread public distrust, workforce shortages, and countless other challenges, these organizations are viewed as the trusted authority that continue to lead a transformation in healthcare. Yet currently, many of these organizations are vulnerable as they face an existential threat from many for-profit competitors.
“NPHI continues to call on policymakers and community leaders to recognize the vital role our members play in community-based care,” said; Carole Fisher, NPHI President. “We will continue to work to not only ensure their survival, but to bolster their position as leaders in the growing advanced illness care field.”
The National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation (NPHI) is a membership organization comprising 100+ not-for-profit, community-integrated hospice and palliative care providers dedicated to ensuring patients and their families have access to care that reflects their individual goals, values, and preferences. Representing providers from 37 states and the District of Columbia, NPHI and its members help design more innovative and effective models of care, advocate for comprehensive and community-integrated care customized to meet each person’s unique needs, and build collaboration between national thought leaders, decision-makers, and other healthcare stakeholders to improve hospice care. Learn more about NPHI at www.hospiceinnovations.org.
Communications Manager, NPHI
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