Session Descriptions

Plenary Sessions

Thursday, May 11 Breakfast Plenary with Tyler Enslin, Tyler Enslin International
Mastering Your Memory
The human brain possesses an incredible amount of power to store and recall information. Unfortunately most people are never taught how to fully access this ability. In this fun and highly engaging training, attendees will learn unique and exciting methods to increase their memory skills to extraordinary levels. Most importantly, this program teaches participants how to use these concepts in daily life.

Friday, May 12 Breakfast Plenary with Eric Scharber, SimiTree
Culture Club – Stories and tips from those who are doing it right!
Our workforce challenges aren’t going anywhere, anytime soon. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the shortage for RN’s will increase by over 6% annually through 2031. This presentation will help leaders understand what role “company culture” plays in attracting and retaining staff. Learn tips and strategies that some of our industries top executives shared with Eric, that they have implemented to make a positive impact on their culture, thereby improving their turnover numbers. Attendees will come away inspired to improve their own company culture and will have many new tools to execute on that vision.

Breakout Session Descriptions in alphabetical order

2024 State of the Science in Pediatric Palliative Care: a Review of Recent Publications with Thought-Provoking Takeaways
Speaker: Dr. Lauren Loftis, VITAS
Description: In this session, several recent pediatric palliative care articles will be summarized and reviewed to help practicing Hospice and Palliative Medicine personnel take home valuable insights and thought-provoking questions to help improve care for patients of all ages at the end of life.  

A child needs a hospice referral? Panic in the Streets!
Speaker: G. Patricia Cantwell, M.D.
Description: The challenges of care coordination for pediatric patients facing life-threatening conditions pose extreme stress to families. It is imperative that practitioners develop strategies to confidently assess, manage and support patients and families navigating the storm of medical complexity. In this session we will address such issues head on highlighting the benefit of early integration of pediatric palliative care, review strategies for providing guidance and support to families dealing with the angst of caring for a dying child and offer tips for a seamless transition from hospital to home. 

An Introduction to Florida’s Medical Marijuana Use Program
Speaker: Carmen Dixon, Florida Dept of Health-Office of Medical Marijuana Use
Every day, the OMMU works to provide qualified patients, caregivers and physicians the information and resources they need to access Florida’s medical marijuana program. The OMMU also writes and implements the Department of Health’s rules for medical marijuana; oversees the statewide Medical Marijuana Use Registry; licenses Florida businesses to cultivate, process and dispense medical marijuana to qualified patients and certifies marijuana testing laboratories to ensure the health and safety of the public as it relates to marijuana. We are Florida’s official source for responsible medical marijuana use.

Building an Organizational Plan of Care
Speaker: Laurie Newlun, SimiTree
Your commitment to your agency and to your patients is reflected in your organizational commitment to ensure patient and agency care. Organizational commitment involves planning an effective compliance program that documents, measures, and trends improvement and goals to meet patient and organizational needs. 

Effective Case Management: Effective Solutions to Improve & Competency Your CMS
Speaker: Christopher Acevedo, Acevedo Consulting
The session will take a dive into a non-traditional approach to improving the focus of your case managers. Revisiting the focus of their role, this session will provide a unique perspective on improving CM performance with an emphasis on patient care & quality. We will explore the effect a more proactive approach has on patient, family and staff outcomes.

Engaging Hearts and Metrics in Your Community: How Digital ACP Can Increase Your Cause
Speakers: Joanne Eason, Five Wishes; Maria Moen, MyDirectives
Being able to document wishes electronically and have the capability to upload them more easily into a digital platform not only allows patients and clinicians to access the documents but also provides analytics on completion. The issue many hospices have had is to incorporate the documentation easily during community education programs, marketing programs and clinical uptake. In this session, participants will learn how to utilize different digital methods to collect the information and be able to report on metrics.

Executive Roundtable: A Walk Through the Way Hospitals Think
Speaker: Alex Fernandez, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, VITAS
Description: A former hospital system executive performs a deep dive into the ways a hospdital thinks, metrics and misconceptions, reimbursement structure and its implications to hospice, staffing relationships and challenges within the hospital, how hospice can benefit hospital mortality rates, soft implications for hospital quality measures, roles of CFO, CMO, CNO, CEO, who are the right targets within the hospital system, case studies, creating a mutually beneficial relationship, and much more.  Be prepared for an interactive session!  

Getting to the Root of the Symptom: Differentiating Between Adverse Drug Effects and Impending Death
Speakers: Amanda Lovell, PharmD, BCGP & Joni Brinker, MSN/MHA, RN, WCC, Optum Pharmacy Services
As they decline, patients in hospice care are at an increased risk for adverse drug effects. Comfort medications, such as morphine, lorazepam, and haloperidol, can be associated with significant adverse effects including opioid-induced neurotoxicity, urinary retention, respiratory depression, and akathisia. These adverse effects may mimic symptoms of impending death, leading to potentially ineffective interventions by the care team. This session will review distinguishing characteristics of medication-induced, reversible symptoms versus symptoms of impending death.

Innovative Solutions to Maximizing Palliative Care Revenue
Speaker: Christopher Acevedo, Acevedo Consulting
This session will emphasize the importance of utilizing all available billing codes in order to optimize palliative care reimbursement. Far too often focus is only given to the base “visit” codes with out an emphasis on the entire encounter and maximizing the revenue opportunities by utilizing the most appropriate set/combination of billing codes and approaches.

Journey to Accreditation for a Hospice Nurse Residency Program
Speaker: Anita Smith, Empath Health
Description: Embarking on the journey to accreditation for a hospice nurse residency program is a comprehensive process that requires planning, organization, dedication, and collaboration. Embracing the culture of ongoing improvement, a nurse residency program can achieve accreditation and demonstrate excellence in transition to practice.

Leveraging Technology for Quality of Care
Speakers: Rebecca Gatian & Terressa Powell, Avow Hospice
In this session, Avow leaders will describe how their organization utilizes an acuity system to identify declining, transitioning, or end-of-life patients and determine staff visits. Over the past year, Avow implemented a transformative model to increase customer service, quality scores, staff retention, and maximize resources. Before, off-shift staff were being underutilized while day shift staff were feeling burnt out. Now, a proactive approach front-loads night shift visits to improve all metrics.

Mastering the Patient Communication Journey Harnessing QAPI for Success
Speaker: Laurie Nelson, CareXm

Description: The QAPI regulations, outlined in § 484.65 Condition of participation, require HHAs to develop,
implement, evaluate, and maintain an ongoing, data-driven QAPI program. This program must
reflect the complexity of the organization, involve all HHA services, and focus on areas that are
high-risk, high-volume, and/or problem prone… and often patient to provider communication
practices can be all three.
In this session, we will delve into effective ways that a home health agency (HHA) can utilize the
Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QAPI) regulations to assess and enhance the
patient communication journey during daytime, afterhours, and weekend periods.

Mastering Your Memory: A Deeper Dive 
Speaker: Tyler Enslin, Consultant with Tyler Enslin International
Specifically designed for participants who have already attended “Mastering Your Memory,” this highly interactive session builds on the techniques that have already been learned. Attendees will consider how to create and organize a presentation that can be delivered without any written notes or PowerPoint, discuss advanced techniques to recalling names, and discover 4 daily habits that promote improved cognitive function and focus. For those that want to take their newly acquired memory skills to the next level, this program is a must. 

Measuring Success: Cultivating Hospice Benchmarks and Key Performance Indicators
Speakers: Katherine Morrison & Cindy Covell, WellSky

Within the bright light of regulatory and public scrutiny (e.g. the evolving Hospice SFP), hospice providers bank on integrating the use of data and evolving analytics to gain a quick understanding of their strengths, identify potential for improvement, and alert them to areas of concern.  With so many benchmarks available it can be difficult to decipher which indicators are most critical for monitoring, as well as what to do to improve the performance metric. Adding to this challenge, within larger hospice organizations, micro-climates of branch specific data use are common, often quietly eroding the potential improvements which could be made, given a more cohesive approach to data use. This session will review the critical KPIs every hospice should be monitoring as well as the cultural and leadership approach recommended to best integrate the use of data into top-notch clinical operations and culture.

Palmetto GBA: 2024 Jurisdiction M (JM) Medicare Hospice Workshop Series
Speakers: Charles Canaan & Marlene Frierson, Palmetto GBA
Errors in billing and responding to additional documentation requests can be costly. During the workshop series, Palmetto GBA will provide information related to the most common errors and why these errors occur. We will also provide tips to avoid these errors. Palmetto GBA’s goal is to educate providers on the most up-to-date information and apply skillful techniques to their documentation and billing practices. (Click HERE to read official topic list.)

Politics in Florida – How We Got Here & How We Respond
Paul Ledford, FHPCA
Republicans gained majorities in the Florida House and Senate in the 1990s, when voters in the state were ‘performing purple,’ and have held tight since. Only recently has the GOP gained super-majority status in the Legislature, and plurality statewide in voter registration. This session will look back at how Republicans, from a minority party position wrestled control from Democrats, how other trends, events, and personalities have influenced the process, and how hospice advocates can respond and thrive in this environment, irrespective of personal political views on other issues.

Reviving the Soul of Hospice with High-Quality Advance Care Planning (ACP)
Paul Malley, Aging with Dignity
Embedding hospice core values in your ACP approach can reawaken the mission and soul of your organization.  A greater emphasis on whole-person care sets hospice care apart.  When that same emphasis is the focus of your ACP approach, it generates positive outcomes regarding community awareness, more and earlier referrals, patient and caregiver satisfaction, and enhanced “joy of practice” for hospice clinical and administrative staff.  Participants will gain an understanding of proven best practices that are replicable and scalable in hospice organizations of all sizes.

Soul Injury: Helping People Heal the Relationship they have with themselves
Deborah Grossman, Opus Peace
Soul Injury is a wound that separates you from your real self. Your real self not only includes the “best version” of yourself, it includes the worst version and everything in-between. People with Soul Injuries often report feeling “not good enough,” “less than,” “empty,” “worthless,” or “defective.” In this presentation you will discover three underlying causes that contribute to the acquisition of a Soul Injury: un-mourned loss/hurt, unforgiven guilt/shame, and fear of helplessness/loss of control. These barriers can gradually disconnect you from your sense of self, robbing you of your vitality. Join Deborah Grassman, author of The Hero Within and Peace at Last, to experience self-help tools that help people move from numbing their pain to mourning their pain, hiding their guilt to using their guilt to learn how to forgive themselves and others, being ashamed of not being “good enough” to releasing their fear of who they are and who they are not, and controlling things they have no control over to letting themselves feel their helplessness and their loss of control. 

Strategic Planning: Position Your Agency for Growth Using Data
Speaker: Melynda Capps Lee, SimiTree
Is your agency positioned for long-term growth and sustainability? Do you have access to the necessary data and information to make strategic decisions? Hear from industry experts how strategic planning can shift the future of your organization from uncertainty to responsible, sustainable growth and competitiveness.

Summing up the Evidence: Current Knowledge of Terminal Ulcer, Prevalence, Etiology, and Management
Speaker: Joni Brinker, Optum Pharmacy Services
A terminal ulcer is an area of skin breakdown that is associated with end-of-life and the dying process. The first documentation of a terminal ulcer in modern literature was in 1989. Despite this, no consensus has been reached on the definition, nomenclature, etiology, or management of the terminal ulcer. Significant knowledge and clinical management gaps exist. This session will provide a review of the current evidence for terminal ulcers with a special focus on the prevalence, etiology, and management of these wounds.

The Hospice PEPPER Report: Strategies to Mitigate Payment-Related Scrutiny During PEPPER Report Pause
Speaker: Carrie Cooley, RN, MSN; Principal, Weatherbee Resources and the Hospice Compliance Network (HCN)
Description: The Program for Evaluating Payment Patterns Electronic Report (PEPPER) is the best tool for hospices to identify potential areas of payment vulnerability and mitigate CMS contractor audit risk. With CMS’ recent pause in releasing the FY2023 PEPPER Report, hospice providers must now rely on other measures to identify and mitigate payment-related risk since CMS contractor audits are hospice providers’ greatest financial risk. This course includes (1) an explanation of the most important PEPPER Target Areas to mitigate audit risk; (2) strategies to duplicate PEPPER data using the hospice’s electronic medical record and other data; and (3) a discussion of risk-mitigation strategies to decrease future payment-related audit risk.

Team Work Makes the Dream Work: Running a Small Community Grief Center
Rebecca Gatian, Dawn Kolderman and Lea Pascotto, Avow Hospice
Join Executive Leader, Dr. Rebecca Gatian, Senior Clinica Director, Dawn Kolderman, and Manager of Supportive Care, Lea Pascotto, as we explore the dynamics of leadership in running a small community children’s grief cneter. In this session participants will learn about a variety of leadership qualities needed to run a small child grief center. The three presenters work collaboratively to support children in growing through grief. Leaders in a health care agency must make solid decisions to support patients and family members while also maintaining support of employees and community partners. Effective communications between team members, on all levels, lays the foundation for a successful grief center. Establishing trust in leadership and in the community is crucial. Participants will be invited to identify their own leadership qualities to aid in developing a childhood grief center. Participants will learn about the leadership, financial, and community implications of running a children’s grief center and the creative aspects of building and growing a program through cohesive partnerships. Meet three leaders with extensive experience, willing to share their success, field questions and establish ongoing relationships with other providers nationally to assist them in starting or growing a program.

Technology Enhanced Wound & Ostomy Care
Speaker: Julie Roskamp, The Wound Company
This session will review the history of telehealth medicine and demonstrate to hospice agencies how to access expertise through telehealth and virtual engagement with certified wound and ostomy nurses to meet the unique needs of the hospice patient to improve quality of life addressing palliative focused goals rather than curative, save cost on supplies, and help patients and families deal with deteriorating wounds as the skin fails. This session will review implementation of a value based program for hospice agnecies and review case studies of patients with wounds and ostomies and how the agencies partner with wound and ostomy experts virtually to provide consultations and continuous engagement for their staff and patients.

Translating PEPPER and Other Report Data into Quality Patient Outcomes
Speaker: Christopher Acevedo, Hospice Fundamentals
In this session we will explore the underlying value of the data behind results. Not all reports can provide a direct representation of quality so it is imperative to discuss how to translate these reports into actionable items that improve care delivery for our patients. We will discuss innovative approaches to make your data meaningful to your staff and patients.

What I Wish I Would Have Known: Stories from the Field
Speaker: Arlene Maxim, Axxess
The journey of nurses in hospice can often be described as “learn as you go.”  With experience, we discover practices that enhance and streamline our hospice clinical practices, ultimately improving our clients’ hospice experience while meeting regulatory requirements.  Hospice care is a specialty practice most nurses do not receive training for in nursing school.  When a nurse accepts a position with a hospice and palliative care organization for the first time, it is highly likely that they have no experience in community-based end-of-life care.  This presentation aims to share wisdom and clinical practices learned that hospice and palliative care nurses can apply in their practice today.

You Actually Can Make Everyone Happy: Improving the nurse and patient experience while protecting your margins.
Speakers: Tarrah Lowry, Trustbridge and Bridgette Smith, IntellaTriage
With a growing census and large geographic footprint, Trustbridge’s internal call center of 25 registered nurses was answering and triaging patient calls over nights and weekends, but staffing this call center was proving increasingly difficult, and operating costs were exorbitant. Add to that, patients and nurse experience were beginning to suffer, as evidenced in long patient wait times, increased nurse attrition, and reported compassion fatigue. Overhauling their on-call strategy resulted in drastic positive operational changes and annual savings of over $1 million.

Please note: FHPCA reserves the right to change any title or speaker for this conference. 

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