NH participates in national observance to make advance health care decisions

A new study released today by the Foundation for Healthy Communities found that only 37 percent (506) of 1,363 patients’ medical records reviewed in 25 acute care hospitals had documentation identifying who they would want to make decisions for them if they lacked the capacity to do so.

The Foundation for Healthy Communities and many other organizations in New Hampshire will observe “National Healthcare Decisions Day” on April 16th in an effort to highlight the importance of advance healthcare directives. Governor Maggie Hassen issued a proclamation recognizing April 16, 2015, as HEALTHCARE DECISIONS DAY in New Hampshire.  “National Healthcare Decisions Day is a reminder to talk with family or friends about your wishes in the event of a medical crisis,” said Shawn LaFrance, executive director of the Foundation for Healthy Communities. “Conversations and completion of an advance directive allows you to decide who will make your health care decisions if you lack the capacity to do so”.

In a related study of 319 patients, by the NH Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, from nine hospice programs in in the state, found that 84 percent of the patients surveyed had an advance directive when admitted into hospice. 

“The focus of “National Healthcare Decisions Day” is on education,” LaFrance added. “Its aim is to increase the number of people who understand the importance of advance care directives and planning for serious illness or end-of-life care.  The Foundation for Healthy Communities provides information to help people address the topic with family, friends and healthcare providers and complete a written advance directive, such as healthcare power of attorney and a living will, in accordance with New Hampshire law. The Foundation’s advance care planning guide and a brief education video are available free of charge on line at www.healthynh.com.

The Foundation for Healthy Communities is a nonprofit corporation that exists to improve health and health care in NH communities through partnerships that engage individuals and organizations.


Three Ways to Join the National Healthcare Decisions Day Celebration

April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day, and NHHPCO joins the rest of the nation in educating and empowering the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning.

Below we list some resources that will help you bring NHDD to your community. Whether hosting a game night or helping someone with their advance directives, your efforts will help all of us in starting these difficult - but critically important - conversations. Be a catalyst for the cause, and tell us how it went on our blog!

  • The NHDD website provides easy-to-understand directions in getting advance directives, along with a slew of resources for anyone coming to the subject for the first time.
  • Host a game night! My Gift of Grace is a card game that has been carefully designed to make end-of-life conversations easier and engaging for people of all ages, from all walks of life. Buy it now and receive a 20% discount!
  • Eat cake, discuss demise. Death Cafes combine open conversation with delicious food and drink. An international phenomenon, use our Death Cafe Cheat Sheet to host your own!

NHHPCO is now offering webinars! 

Visit our Professional Development page for more details.

Persuading Physicians to Engage Palliative and Hospice Care Earlier - The Anti-Death Panel Approach

Thursday, April 30, 2015
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eastern
Audio Recording Available

In this webinar, Dr. Thomas J. Smith, MD, FACP, FASCO, FAAHPM, suggests reasonable ways to persuade oncologists and other specialists to make referrals to hospice earlier and more often.

Download registration form to sign up.

Member rate is $130.00 - Non-members $199.00.

When filling out the registration form please indicate if you will be calling into the live webinar or purchasing the audio recording (fee is the same). The live webinar includes the opportunity to ask questions of the presenter.
To purchase both the live webinar and the audio recording, pay the registration fee and an additional $30.
The audio recording will be accessible for two weeks following the live program.

Hospice Billing - a 3-Part Series

6, 12, and 27 May, 2015
11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eastern 
Audio Recording Available

This webinar series will lay a concrete foundation for hospice billers, as well as, any hospice staff that need to more effectively understand the Medicare regulations. Presented by Melinda Gaboury, co-founder and CEO of Healthcare Provider Solutions and author of "Home Health Pocket Guide to OASIS-C1: A Reference Guide for Field Staff".

Register today!
Visit our Professional Development page for specific course objectives and more details.


Thanks to St Anselm's for hosting a great conference!

The Transitions in Care at End-of-Life Conference co-presented by by St Anselm College and NHHPCO on March 6 was a success! Thanks to attendees for turning out in record numbers and for bringing your energy and enthusiasm to the event. We are already looking forward to next year!


We Want Your Vote!

We are now seeking nominations for the third annual Ira Byock and Yvonne Corbeil Award for Innovation and Collaboration in Delivering The Best Care Possible.

We are looking for nominations of individuals, teams and organizations in Northern New England which have demonstrated innovation and collaboration to:

  • Improve quality
  • Expand access, and/or
  • Increase efficiency

in delivering the best end-of-life care possible to New Hampshire residents. 
You can learn more about the award and past recipients here.

Ira Byock and Yvonne Corbeil Award Winner Mary Braun
Mary Braun, left, receives the award, presented by Janice McDermott (center) and NHHPCO President Carla Braveman (right)

Download the nomination form and email it by April 24, 2014.

The award will be presented to the winner at the NHHPCO Annual Meeting on Friday June 5, 2015. In addition, the recipient's work will be recognized through state and national press releases, on the NHHPCO website and at the 2015 NHHPCO annual conference.


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