Highlights & Special Events
There is more to do at the Annual Assembly than attend educational events. View the special events below to see how you can network with others, increase your professional development, and more.
Make the most of your education time by participating in pre-conference workshops on Wednesday, March 22.
These full and half-day workshops provide in-depth learning opportunities across all disciplines and settings of care. Below is an overview of available pre-conference workshops to meet your needs through these added learning opportunities.
All pre-conferences require separate registration at an additional cost and are for in-person attendees only.
8am - 5pm
Hospice Medical Director Update and Exam Prep (P01)
Bethany Cox Snider, MD HMDC FAAHPM, Bethany Calkins, MD MMM HMDC FAAHPM and Balakrishnan Natarajan, MD HMDC
This intensive workshop is designed to explore and further develop the skills needed to successfully navigate today’s hospice environment. This intensive review will serve as part of your preparation for the Hospice Medical Director Certification Board exam and is based on the exam blueprint (www.hmdcb.org). The workshop also serves as a great orientation for those new to the hospice field or as a critical update for all hospice practitioners and managers.
Faculty will address:
- Responding to and managing the needs of patients and families receiving hospice care.
- Exhibiting knowledge of medical, psychosocial, and spiritual conditions encountered at end-of-life.
- Utilizing effective skills and strategies in all aspects of communication and leadership in hospice care.
- Appling best practices for professionalism, ethics, collaboration and life-long learning in hospice care.
- Overseeing the organizational, regulatory, and team components of systems-based practice.
8am - 12pm
ACTION: Anti-Racism Conversations and Thoughts In Our Neighborhoods (P02)
Sonia Malhotra, MD MS FAAP FAAHPM, Heather Harris, MD FAAHPM, Shellie Williams, MD FAAHPM, Ruth Thomson, DO MBA HMDC FACOI FAAHPM, Arshia Madni, MD FAAP, Aziz Ansari, DO SFHM FAAHPM FACP and Corey Tapper, MD MS
This session will explore racial identity development and encourage participants’ thoughts about their own identity and its difference from those they care for. The conversation will expand with scenarios about cultural and religious humility and allyship. Participants will learn to exercise allyship as an active practice of utilizing positions of privilege and power to operate in solidarity with marginalized communities. Participants will learn practical strategies and tools to dissect conversations with diverse patients and families, colleagues and even within their neighborhoods. It will include facilitator-guided experiential learning within small groups using videos, role-play, and discussion.
Hospice Court – Star Witness: Hospice Physicians Adeptly Addressing Audits (P03)
Bryan Nowicki, JD and K. Elissa Tiller, MD FAAHPM CPE
Government audits of hospice medical records are ubiquitous . . . it is not a matter of “if” a hospice will be audited, but “when.” Such audits focus on patient clinical eligibility for hospice services. Accordingly, the auditors scrutinize the clinical judgment exercised by hospice physicians in prognosticating life expectancies. Once commenced, these audits require prompt action and strategic advocacy.
In this interactive presentation, hospice physicians will learn about the audit process, who the auditors are, what they look for, and the key documentation that often drives audit results. Physicians will examine “case study” examples of audited claims and learn about and develop targeted audit appeal strategies. Physicians will also observe and participate in mock Administrative Law Judge hearing scenarios to hone their advocacy skills.
Billing and Coding: Changes in Hospice and Palliative Care Practice (P04)
Janet Bull, MD MBA HMDC FAAHPM, Christopher A. Jones, MD MBA HMDC FAAHPM and Phillip Rodgers, MD FAAHPM
Most HPC providers have become accustomed to basic billing and coding practices, and significant opportunities exist, even for seasoned clinicians and program leads, in the rapidly expanding array of billing revenue capture. It is critical for all clinicians to understand billing at a deeper level and feel comfortable with more complex billing topics.
Join us for this 1/2-day pre-conference office hours style workshop with national experts Janet Bull, MD MBA HMDC FAAHPM, Christopher A. Jones, MD MBA HMDC FAAHPM, and Phillip Rodgers, MD FAAHPM as they discuss ways to optimize the significant opportunities which exist in billing revenue practices within the framework of the updated 2023 Medicare Documentation Guidelines.
1 - 5pm
This Has Become Acutely Serious: Tackling Opioid Use Disorder in Serious Illness in Acute Care Settings (SPPCP Clinical Workshop) (P05)
Tanya J. Uritsky, PharmD, Anessa M. M. Foxwell, MSN APRN ACHPN, Jill P. Farabelli, MSW LCSW APHSW-C, Jordan E. Stone, MD and Bridget Durkin, MD MBE
Palliative Care providers are more frequently encountering patients with active Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) presenting to acute care settings in need of medical treatment. There are unique challenges when managing the patient with OUD in this setting that requires attention and expertise. This preconference prepares all members of the palliative care team to treat a patient with palliative care needs and comorbid OUD in the inpatient acute care setting. The curriculum includes a discussion of best practices in the care of patients with OUD as applied across the continuum of care from hospital admission, transition back into the community, and at the end of life.
We will first provide the groundwork for understanding OUD as a disease in the context of providing palliative care for patients with serious illnesses and acute care needs. As a best practice, attendees will learn how to screen for risk of misuse both at the initiation of opioids, and with changes in opioid therapy during an inpatient acute care admission and have conversations about potential opioid-related harms with patients. Participants will identify the key stakeholders in the care of patients with OUD in the inpatient setting and participate in an interactive simulated interdisciplinary team meeting. Part of holistic care for patients with OUD is a focus on pain management and safe and effective opioid use. We will discuss the care of patients on methadone, buprenorphine, and those presenting in active withdrawal from recreational opioids while also needing pain management. We will also discuss the social, emotional, and spiritual elements of the patients suffering in the context of patients with OUD. Finally, we will explore how the management of the dying patient in an acute care setting for a patient with OUD requires special attention that focuses on expert comprehensive pain and symptom management.
Maximizing Hospice and Palliative Care Documentation through EPIC (P06)
Matthew Gonzales, MD FAAHPM and Deborah M. Unger, MD
This session proposes to provide a high-level overview of the functionality of the Epic EHR relevant to both inpatient and ambulatory Palliative Care and Hospice practices. Workflow challenges and commonly identified problems will be discussed, and potential solutions with available tools will be demonstrated by faculty presenters.
Some of the topics for discussion will include the potential role of standard Epic tools, such as note templates, the suite of SmartTools (Texts, Phrases, Lists, Forms, Links, etc.), BPAs, order sets, specialty summary report pages, and flowsheet data in providing the most relevant Palliative Care and Advance Care Planning data, as well as discussions around streamlined documentation strategies in both specialty and primary Palliative Care. There will also be space to demonstrate principles needed to retrieve operational and analytic information from the Epic EHR.
Participants are asked to bring a laptop with access to their hospital’s Epic EHR environment to be able to fully participate in interactive portions of the session. While the focus will primarily be on clinician workflow, we will also allot time to discuss strategies for measuring and extracting data from the EHR, as well as discussions of ongoing community support. The wrap-up will focus on how to best “translate” what attendees learn at the session to the IT teams at their home institution, and strategies to successfully advocate for the adoption of tools and workflows learned during the workshop.
Assessment in HPM Fellowship Training: Updates from the Assessment Workgroup (P07)
Holly Yang, MSHPED MD HMDC FACP FAAHPM, Stephen Berns, MD FAAHPM, Gary T. Buckholz, MD HMDC FAAHPM, F. Amos Bailey, MD, FACP, FAAHPM, Laura J. Morrison, MD, FAAHPM, FACP, Katie Stowers, DO, Briana Ketterer, MD, MS, Hilary Flint, DO, M.Ed. and Laura Dingfield, MD, MSEd
For HPM training programs, specialty-specific challenges exist in faculty development and the practical application of assessment of fellow competence. AAHPM formed the Assessment Workgroup in 2020 to define the current landscape of assessment in fellowship training and frame the next steps for refining and implementing effective HPM fellow assessment.
During this workshop, participants will explore the results of fellowship director and fellow needs assessments, consider the role of assessment in competency-based education, highlight issues of bias in assessment, and engage in creating shared mental models of fellow assessment. Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to experience faculty development around an assessment tool and learn about future steps for competence-based assessment in our field.
1 - 5:30pm
Lessons in Leadership Using the Art of Poker: Knowing When to Go All In and When to Fold (P08)
Ginger Marshall, MSN, ACNP-BC, ACHPN, FPCN and Holli Martinez, MSN, FNP-BC, ACHPN, FPCN
This interactive fun session will provide guidance for developing both leadership and poker skills. The first portion of the session will involve the use of didactic presentations, breakout groups, polls, and reference cards to provide education on delegation, reading people, sizing your strategies and bets, understanding the importance of position both at the poker table and within your own organization, reading the flop as well as strategic plans and knowing which hands and initiatives to go all in on and which ones to fold. The last portion of the session will include actual poker instructions for both new and experienced poker players. NOTE: This is not a cash game and is for instructional purposes only.
Collaboration and Engagement Opportunities
AAHPM New Member and First-Timer Reception
Will this be your first Annual Assembly? Are you a new member of AAHPM? Then please join us at a reception Wednesday, March 22 at 4:30 pm immediately prior to the Opening Reception to meet other new members and leaders. It's a great way to make contacts in a smaller, intimate setting. Rooms will be listed in the onsite pocket guide.
Attend this year's Job Fair located in the Exhibit Hall Thursday night, from 5-7 pm. The Job Fair is the prime venue to learn about opportunities in the hospice and palliative care field and network with potential employers for these positions.
The Exhibit Hall gives the Annual Assembly attendees an opportunity to learn about the latest developments in medical supplies and equipment, career opportunities, software, facilities, pharmaceuticals, and medical publishing.
View the latest scientific research and case-based, peer-reviewed posters in the exhibit hall and rotunda Friday morning. Invited posters will be displayed adjacent to the exhibit area or on the virtual platform.
Attend keynote sessions featuring Greg Bell, Susan Block, and the Hospice and Palliative Care Article discussion with David Casarett, Ronit Elk, Solomon Liao, and VJ Periyakoil.
AAHPM & HPNA Invited Speakers
Invited speakers are featured each day, addressing several critical topics.
Content Focused Homerooms
Join a homeroom Thursday or Friday at 4 pm, to meet with Faculty and Peers to reflect and discuss sessions presented during the day with content focused on pediatrics, hospice, education/leadership, clinical, scientific/QI/research, professionals in training, and DEI content. Homerooms will also be available virtually.
Cambia Sponsored Breakfast Lecture
Cambia Health Foundation is pleased to present this special session with thought leaders in the field of hospice and palliative care. This will take place Saturday, March 25 at 7 am. Please plan to arrive by 6:50 am as space is limited for this extremely popular session. Seats will be available first come first serve.
AAHPM & HPNA Award Presentations
In addition to supporting the critical work and passion of our members, AAHPM and HPNA also recognize the importance of acknowledging our members' critical contributions to the field of hospice and palliative care on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday mornings prior to the plenary session.