Former CMS Chief: Hospice, Healthcare Needs to Reorient Systems Around Patient Needs

Posted Sunday, March 28, 2021

Don Berwick, former administrator of CMS spoke at the National Hospice & Palliative Organization (NHPCO) Leadership and Advocacy Conference that hospices must go above and beyond regulatory compliance when taking care of their patients.

“The very best definition of quality that I know is meeting the need, and meeting the need you intend to meet,” said Berwick at the conference. “Businesses that fail to meet the needs of the customers that they have chosen, they decline — those businesses will die. Communities and governments that fail to meet the needs of their people cannot thrive. Nations that forget to meet the needs of their people are lost nations, and they can die, too. Exclusion poisons improvement.”

According to information from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, minorities, and the LGBTQ+ community are less likely to be referred to hospice as compared to Caucasians.

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