Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Hospice and Palliative Care: The Year in Review 2014

by Christian Sinclair, MD, FAAHPM

Looking back on 2014, it seemed like hospice and palliative care issues were constantly in the news. But then again, I may be standing in the single loudest position in the echo chamber of palliative care. Even with the awareness of that bias, it is clear to me that we had many significant events this year in our field that will really influence where we go in 2015 and beyond. (Although if you look at the graph below hospice and palliative care are steady to declining in percentage of search on Google.)

We have never done a formal year in review here at Pallimed, and now that we are finally doing one, I’m sorry that I don’t have the past years to reflect back upon. Big shout out to Kathy Brandt for also doing a year-end review on her fantastic site the kb group (if you have not yet subscribed, you should.) She brought up a few ideas I had not had considered myself. CAPC also published a year in review worth a look. In addition, last week at #hpm chat, Dr. Meredith MacMartin hosted on just this topic. There was a lot of great discussion and some new topics were brought up that I was not aware of.

So what were the big events of 2014 for hospice and palliative care? (in no particular order and with categories I just made up)

And if you want to have a bit of fun with us, please join us in a poll to pick the top news stories of the year for hospice and palliative care.

In the media spotlight
Brittany Maynard and the national conversation about the right to physician assisted death
Hospice service quality being questioned by the Washington Post and Huffington Post
Philanthropic praise
Cambia Health Foundation awarding the University of Washington $10 million for palliative care
Anonymous $10M gift to Dartmouth Hitchcock Center for Hospice and Palliative Care

Policy financing and regulations
Medicare Part D requirements impacting how hospice organizations cover medications

Research and education
MJHS Palliative Webinar Series innovates free CME for primary and secondary palliative care

Social media success
Both GeriPal and Pallimed hitting over 2 million views to each website
Numerous heart-warming stories featuring people with serious illness shared with social media

Organizational impact
AAHPM announces 40 under 40 - highlighting leaders for the next wave of palliative care
HPNA, HPNF and HPCC launch the $5M Advancing Expert Care campaign
NHPCO launches Moments of Life campaign
World Health Assembly resolution on palliative care
40th anniversary of hospice care in the United States
FHSSA expands and rebrands as Global Partners in Care
Global Atlas of Palliative Care at the End of Life published by WHO and WPCA
NIH and NINR launch pediatric focused campaign, Palliative Care: Conversations Matter

Don't forget to take the poll!

Christian Sinclair is an palliative care physician at the University of Kansas Medical Center and editor of Pallimed. When he is not advocating for palliative care on social media (@ctsinclair), you can probably find him playing board games.

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