Building a Community-Based Palliative Care Program Authors
Kathy Brandt, MS, the Principal of the kb group, has over twenty-six years working in hospice, palliative care, aging, and caregiving at the national, state, and local level. As a leading provider of community-based palliative care and hospice consulting, Kathy helps organizations identify and maximize their capacity through business development, project management, strategic planning, leadership development, and systems design. In that capacity, Kathy wrote Covenant Hospice’s successful Medicare Care Choices Model application, working with the leadership to develop and refine the program.
For more than 16 years Kathy helped lead the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, working her way up through the organization to become the Senior Vice President, Office of Innovation and the Executive Director of NHPCO’s Mary J Labyak Institute for Innovation. Kathy led NHPCO’s efforts to help hospices evolve beyond the Medicare Hospice Benefit, expanding services in a fiscally-prudent, mission-focused way to help people access palliative care sooner in their disease process. Kathy’s team spearheaded NHPCO’s forays into online education, authored grants and contracts generating more than seven million dollars of funding, and created Caring Connections, an award-winning consumer engagement initiative that has helped millions of people learn more about advance care planning, palliative care, hospice and grief.
Brian Cassel, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the division of Hematology/Oncology and Palliative Care, and Director of Analytic Services at Massey Cancer Center, at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. His research interests include cancer informatics, and health services research on specialist palliative care services in the US and the UK, specifically the costs and financing of cancer care and palliative care.
As a faculty member of VCU’s Palliative Care Leadership Center he has helped to train more than 140 palliative care teams from all over the US. He is a scientific member of the VCU Massey Cancer Center, where he helped to develop and currently oversees the Massey Data Analysis System. He serves as Co-Director of the Metrics Team for the Palliative Care Action Community, a one-year effort sponsored by the California Health Care Foundation aimed at promoting the development, sustainability and growth of community-based PC services across California.
Kathleen Kerr, BA is a health care consultant in private practice in Mill Valley, California. Her work is focused on developing sustainable models for community-based palliative care, with particular emphasis on evaluating the business case for such services. Ms. Kerr has supported several state-wide initiatives focused on promoting the development of quality community-based palliative care programs in California.
She is the developer/co-developer of several educational and technical assistance tools for palliative care program leaders, including an on-line course, The Business Case for Palliative Care, offered through the California State University Institute for Palliative Care. Ms. Kerr is a longtime member of the selection committee for the American Hospital Association’s Circle of Life Award, which recognizes excellence and innovation in the delivery of hospice and palliative care across the care continuum.
Kate Meyers, MPP is a health care consultant who has managed diverse initiatives aimed at improving health care quality, with a focus on improving organizations’ capacity to deliver care that is aligned with patient preferences and values. She has managed several large palliative care initiatives for the California Health Care Foundation (CHCF), including the Payer/Provider Partnerships initiative, which supports collaboration between payers and providers to expand access to community-based palliative care (CBPC), and the Palliative Care Action Community, a collaborative learning group focused on CBPC.
She was the lead author of “Up Close: A Field Guide to Community-Based Palliative Care,” which addresses key considerations for CBPC and examples of approaches from teams in the Palliative Care Action Community.
Helen B. McNeal is the Executive Director of the California State University Institute for Palliative Care at CSUSM. Prior to joining CSUSM, Helen served as Vice President of San Diego Hospice and The Institute for Palliative Medicine (SDHIPM) where she was responsible for all of the operations of The Institute for Palliative Medicine.
Prior to joining SDHIPM in 2007, Helen was Founder and President of Naria, LLC. Helen founded and was Board Chair of Evergreen Hospice in Markham, Ontario; she has consulted with both U.S. and Canadian government agencies on palliative care strategies. Helen is also the co-author of Module IV: Palliative Care of A Comprehensive Guide to the Care of Persons Living with HIV/AIDS. She has consulted with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization on state hospice organization initiatives and led a national project to look at end of life care in the American prison system.
In addition to a degree in Business Administration from the University of Michigan, Helen has done post-graduate study in business, psychology and organizational development.
Kathleen Taylor, MA, LMHC is the President of KT Coaching & Consulting, where she provides healthcare coaching and consulting services that enhance communication and connection, and improve the patient and clinician experience. Kathleen has over 22 years of experience in the healthcare and nonprofit sectors, with specific expertise in hospice and palliative care, advance care planning, community engagement, and program development. For over a decade, she served as the director of community engagement at the country’s largest nonprofit hospice organization.
Previously, she managed a national Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant program establishing grassroots coalitions to improve end-of-life care, and worked for over 7 years as a hospice counselor serving patients and families coping with life-limiting illness, caregiving and grief. In 2012, Kathleen delivered a TEDx talk about living an authentic life, which has since been shared around the world and used in social work curricula and other training programs. Kathleen is a Florida Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Qualified Clinical Supervisor. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Stetson University, a Master’s degree in Mental Health and Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of South Florida, and a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management & Innovation at the University of Tampa’s John Sykes College of Business.
Jean Acevedo, LHRM, CPC, CHC, CENTC has over 30 years of health care experience. She has a particular expertise in chart audits, compliance & education relative to physician documentation and coding. Jean has also been an expert witness in civil litigation and an investigative consultant for the DOJ and FBI in Federal fraud cases.
Jean has demonstrated particular expertise in therapy and rehabilitation documentation and coding and is well known for her knowledge of hospice and palliative care physician services billing. Recognizing physician reimbursement is moving from a pure “fee for service” model to one reimbursing for quality and value, she is helping ACO’s and their physicians understand the rules and nuances of diagnosis coding and the impact on Medicare Risk Adjustment (MRA) coding.
She is a workshop presenter for the AAPC and co-author of the Academy’s Compliance Toolkit. She is a co-author of the article “Top 10 Inpatient Palliative Medicine Billing and Coding Mistakes (and How to Fix Them This Week)”, published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine, Volume 18, Number 3, 2015; and her article, “Value-based Payment Modifier: Quality vs. Cost”, was published in Healthcare Business Monthly, February 1, 2015
Jean is an instructor at Florida Atlantic University where she teaches the regulatory compliance modules of FAU’s Certificate in Medical Business Management program, and a member of several Coding Institute Editorial Advisory Boards. Jean has been a Participant in CMS’ Medicare Provider Feedback Group, CMS Division of Provider Information Planning and Development since 2007 and is a member of the Jurisdiction 9 MAC’s Provider Outreach and Education Advisory Group.
She is a frequently sought after speaker as she possesses the unique perspective of avoiding risk and liability while optimizing reimbursement in the highly regulated health care industry.
Jennifer Ballentine, MA is President of The Iris Project, providing education, advocacy, research, and change design to healthcare entities especially in hospice and palliative care. Jennifer has served in executive positions in organizations leading change in end-of-life care since 1999, most recently as Vice President of Hospice Analytics and Executive Director of Life Quality Institute. She has significantly contributed to initiatives implementing palliative care in the primary care and long-term care sectors, written best practice guidelines for palliative care, and headed several state and national taskforces affecting policy related to access and quality in palliative care, organizational ethics, and system transformation.
Janet Bull, MD FAAHPM is the Chief Medical Officer at Four Seasons and holds a consultant assistant professorship in the internal medicine department at Duke University Medical Center. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM), board certified in hospice and palliative medicine as well as holds a hospice medical director certification.
Dr. Bull’s past positions included Advisor to the Hospice Intermediary Advisory Committee, Chair of the AAHPM Research Committee as well as Chair of the Chief Medical Officers group of the National Hospice Work Group. She co-directed the Hospice Medical Directors Course in 2013 and 2014 and has served on its faculty for numerous years, She participates as a Senior Medical Advisor for Aspire Healthcare and sits on the steering committee of the Palliative Care Cooperative Group and chairs the Membership Committee. She is President Elect for The Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and serves on the Executive Board.
Dr. Bull has been an Associate Editor of PC-FACS since 2008, and has authored or coauthored several papers on palliative care and quality data reporting, and billing and coding. She directs the research department at Four Seasons and has served as the Principle Investigator on over 45 clinical trials in hospice and palliative medicine. She is Program Director of the Palliative Care Immersion Course and directs Four Seasons’ Center of Excellence, which offers consulting services in hospice, palliative care, and research.
She was the recipient of the Sharon O. Dixon Award in 2007, the Cuniff-Dixon Hastings Award in 2012, and the Josephino Magno Distinguished Physician Award in 2013. In 2014 she was named as one of the top 30 visionaries in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Dr. Bull is the current Principal Investigator of a CMS Innovations Grant entitled “Increasing Patient and System Value With Community Palliative Care.”
Torrie Fields, MPH leads the development and implementation of programs and processes at Blue Shield of California and Care1st Health Plan that work to improve the quality of life for individuals with serious or life limiting illness and their families. Torrie has most recently worked as the program director for palliative care at Cambia Health Solutions and as a consultant for health plans, purchasers, and educational institutions to assist them in understanding the impact of palliative care on the medical system. Torrie led the development of highly successful palliative care initiatives including benefit design, case management, caregiver support, medical home development, and policy and engagement efforts.