Mid-March 2019
From the Executive Director
The legislature was back in Montpelier last week after a weeklong Town Meeting break. The VNAs of Vermont are deeply grateful to cities and towns across Vermont for voting to help home health agencies bring services to their communities.  Check out Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice CEO Sandy Rousse’s op-ed and listen to her conversation with Dave Gram on WDEV about the importance of funding on Town Meeting Day.
Member Spotlight
NEK Prosper! Creates a Healthier Northeast Kingdom
Imagine a community where everyone is:
·     mentally healthy
·     well-housed
·     financially secure
·     well-nourished
·     physically healthy.

While we all may wish these outcomes for our own communities and others, are we doing everything we can to get there? Our member organization, Caledonia Home Health Care & Hospice is part of a collaborative with a plan to do just that.

“Our collaborative works to improve the health and well-being of the entire population of Caledonia and Southern Essex counties in Vermont,” explains Treny Burgess, director of Caledonia Home Health Care & Hospice . “Good health is about much more than health care. We’re working together with our social services partners on things like housing and food security which we know have a big impact on health.” 
Policy Updates
Vermont Update
In the Statehouse, policy committees raced to finish up their work on policy bills that will head to the the floors of the House and Senate this week. This is an annual mid-session scramble to meet the “crossover” deadline set by House and Senate leaders. Policy committees in one body of the legislature must vote on bills by this date if they’re to be considered by the other body during the session. The policy bills of greatest interest to the VNAs of Vermont passed weeks ago. At this juncture, our focus is on the budget, which will head to the floor in another week. An increase for home health and hospice agencies, including for the Choices for Care program, is under consideration. We strongly support an increase. As I said in my testimony to the House Appropriations Committee a few weeks ago, there is never going to be a year where costs – salaries, wages, benefits, mileage – aren’t going up. Policymakers must protect vulnerable Vermonters by funding the programs that serve them. 
Federal Update
Worrisome news has come out of Washington over the last few weeks. The Trump Administration has proposed both Medicaid and Medicare cuts to home health agencies. While the Administration’s budget is unlikely to become law given the current configuration of Congress, it’s a reflection of their priorities and provides insight into how the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services will use whatever payment authority is authorized by Congress. For the first time since 2014, MEDPAC has proposed a cut to hospice payments; the most recent report recommends a 2 percent cut. Click here for a statement from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization on the report. We will work closely with our federal partners to oppose all of these cuts. 
From Our National Association

Palliative Care Feedback
NAHC is partnering with the Hospice and Palliative Credentialing Center (HPCC) and the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA) in conducting a survey gauging interest in pursuing palliative specialty training and/or certification in hospice and palliative care for their nursing staff. The survey can be found here.  

NAHC – March on Washington
Join NAHC April 1 and 2 for the annual NAHC March on Washington. The event will kick off Monday evening with a reception and briefing on our top issues. On Tuesday NAHC will take to the hill to advocate before Congress. Register  here, list of hotel options  here.
What We're Reading
In the News
Educational Opportunities
Webinars and In-person Events
Second Thursday of each month | 3 to 4 p.m.
Select one from the series or save by attending six or 12.
Hosted by VNAs of Vermont

Understanding how to run and interpret CASPER reports
March 6 | 1 to 2 p.m.
Hosted by VNAs of Vermont

Still left in the four-part series:
March 20 | 3 to 4 p.m.
Methadone Use at End-of-Life
Hosted by VNAs of Vermont

April 11 | 1 to 2 p.m.
Hosted by VNAs of Vermont

May 15 | 10:30 a.m. to 4:40 p.m.
Hosted by OneCare Vermont
Hilton Burlington Lake Champlain
In-person Event

June 12 to 13 | 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Fireside Inn, Lebanon, New Hampshire
Hosted by VNAs of Vermont
In-Person Event
Upcoming Events