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October 14, 2019

Technology, Advocacy, Education on Display at 2019 Home Care and Hospice Conference and Expo

The 2019 Home Care and Hospice Conference and Expo began over the past weekend with a spotlight on technology, advocacy, and education, starting with the Home Healthcare, Hospice, and Information Technology 2019 (H3IT 2019) conference that has been affiliated with NAHC’s annual meeting the last few years. If you’re not familiar with H3IT, it is an annual international conference for all stakeholders interested in innovative approaches to home healthcare, hospice, and information technology. H3IT featured three highly relevant and timely keynote addresses in 2019, including:

  • current opportunities to apply established and emerging informatics methods to patient data trapped in home care EHRs, such as interoperability of transitions in care data, user interface design, data standards, and natural language processing.
  • creating robust partnerships between academia and home health care to correct the over-emphasis on acute care medical teaching.
  • the availability of traditional and new forms of technology that can help improve care delivery, lower cost and keep people in their homes longer.

Sunday, October 13 began with the pre-conference PDGM Summit: An In-Depth Primer. During Q1 2019, NAHC and its affiliates Home Care & Hospice Financial Managers Association, Home Care Technology Association of America, and Forum of State Associations held a 12-site set of PDGM National Summits that presented a detailed focus on Financial, Clinical, Operations, Business Analytics, and Technology-related assessment, evaluation, and strategic recommendations for successful transition to PDGM in 2020.

This program is an updated version of the Summits, intended for those who did not attend or need a refresher course. It can also be looked at as a prerequisite of sorts for the PDGM sessions in the main conference agenda.

This primer, attended by hundreds home health professionals, updated attendees on PDGM, its implications for finance, clinical, operations, business analytics, benchmarks, and technology modifications.

The final pre-conference was a two-hour interactive classroom on how to become an effective advocate for home care and hospice. The Grassroots Advocacy Boot Camp provided attendees with the knowledge and skills necessary to be well-informed, effective, and empowered advocates within their communities and organizations. Students learned:

  • what grassroots advocacy is and your role and responsibly as an advocate
  • the legislative process and the most important points of influence along the journey
  • the most effective methods for building an effective relationship with your elected officials
  • the key issues impacting the home health care and hospice communities
  • how to participate in an active campaign

Rep. Kelly Chambers of the Washington state legislature, a home health provider and veteran of past NAHC conferences, spoke to Boot Camp attendees, telling them the importance of advocacy for the industry and how they can best make the case for quality health care in the home to their elected representatives.

And all that was before noon on Sunday!

The afternoon began with the first General Session of the conference, where NAHC President William A. Dombi provided his policy update for home health and hospice in 2019 and informed attendees about the progress of NAHC 2.0. The NAHC advocacy staff then spoke about the most important topics facing the industry from a legislative and regulatory standpoint, before Emilie Bartolucci, NAHC’s new Director for Grassroots Advocacy and Community Engagement, spoke about the importance of everyone at the conference becoming involved as an advocate for millions of patients and providers that depend on health care in the home. A short film was shown to explain the importance of advocacy and everyone in the General Session hall pulled out their smartphones and sent a message of support for a home health and/or hospice issue to their elected representatives from NAHC’s Advocacy Center.

Finally, the first full day of the conference concluded with the Opening Reception in a packed Expo hall, where representatives from over 180 of the best companies in home health and hospice chatted and networked with providers and educators about ways to improve efficiency, patient care, and business productivity. The Learning Labs, where companies provided brief educational tutorials, were popular, and the Bark Park, where Seattle’s finest therapy dogs were a constant source of delight and probably received more attention than they have in a long time. Attendees were delighted.

More updates from the conference will be forthcoming in the days ahead, but for now, enjoy more photos from the conference below.