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 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 - 5:30 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.
DEI Networking Event
Join us Thursday, March 23 at 12pm for our first one-hour networking event for all DEI professionals or attendees interested in learning, sharing, and connecting.
The AAHPM DEI Committee and HPNA invite you to join Thursday, March 23 from 7 - 8pm for the "Breaking Fast with your Muslim Colleagues during Ramadan" reception. All are welcome to join us for an enjoyable hour of networking and food will be provided.
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.
Attend this year's Job Fair located in the Exhibit Hall Thursday night, from 3:30 - 6:30 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.
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.
Ramadan Prayer Room
In observance of Ramadan during the Annual Assembly, we will be providing a dedicated room for prayer and reflection. All are welcome in this space. We encourage you to bring your own prayer mats. This room will also serve as a meditation room for individuals with other religious backgrounds or for anyone looking for a moment to reflect or pray.
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 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.
AAHPM & HPNA Invited Speakers
Invited speakers are featured each day, addressing several critical topics. All are welcome to attend.
Caregiver: A Love Story - Film Screening and Discussion with Filmmaker Dr. Jessica Zitter (INV107)
Thursday, March 23, 1-2 pm
In this session, Dr. Jessica Zitter will present her short documentary, Caregiver: A Love Story followed by a moderated discussion on the topic of family caregiver burden. Caregiver: A Love Story is the tale of one man struggling to care for his dying wife. This program will highlight the role of the caregiver, including nurses and other healthcare workers, and open a dialogue about how our healthcare system can work to better support the caregivers in our practice.
Nessa Coyle Leadership
The Unheard Voices of Everyday Leaders: The Difference Listening Makes (INV124)
Thursday, March 23, 2:30-3:30 pm
Everyday leadership is defined as the behaviors and actions of ordinary individuals that lead to change. This lectureship will use the speaker’s lived experience as framework to support the incorporation of voices of everyday leaders into palliative care nursing. It will also include reflection on ways to uplift and encourage the everyday leaders around us.
Listen Like a Poet (INV207)
Friday, March 24, 10:30-11:30 am
In this session, a listener poet and poemee will describe their experiences of hearing and being heard. Tools for deep listening will be shared, with an opportunity for practice. This session is complementary to the Amplifying Voices, Honoring Experiences exhibit.
The Good Listening Project (TGLP; goodlistening.org) is a non-profit organization that uses the power of poetry and listening to cultivate resilience and well-being in healthcare. Listener poets from the organization hold one-on-one conversations with clients ("poemees"). Following the conversation, listener poets compose custom poems based on the interaction which are then given to the poemee.
Clinical Lecture Series
Coping with the Unexpected: Supporting Families as a Team From Pregnancy Through the Lifespan (INV224)
Friday, March 24, 2:30-3:30 pm
This presentation will review a set of key concepts and offer practical suggestions for interprofessional team members at the bedside to consider when planning and executing family meetings from pregnancy through the lifespan. These components include specific processes for implementing a meeting, timing considerations, and team member involvement. Cases will be used to highlight factors to consider in order to promote optimal patient and family outcomes and improve communication and comfort with this important component of clinical practice. Consideration to various nuances, often presented to team members, based on patient demographics and disease trajectory will also be discussed.
Special Session: Delivering on the Promise of Hospice
A Panel Discussion on What We Can Do to Ensure Quality Hospice Care for All Who Need It (INV234)
Friday, March 24, 5-6:15 pm
AAHPM, HPNA, and other national associations have submitted recommendations to legislators for how to improve hospice integrity and modernize the MHB. Hospice programs have weathered a pandemic and now face critical workforce shortages and other challenges. Broad audits aimed at recovering payment have imposed significant burdens on the best programs while not doing much to curb fraud and abuse. The seriously ill population today faces more prognostic uncertainty and a much broader array of available disease-modifying and palliative treatments than the population of the 1980s that the MHB was designed to serve.
In this moderated panel discussion with audience participation, AAHPM and HPNA leaders with expertise in hospice, health equity, advocacy, service delivery, payment models, pediatrics, quality, and clinician well-being will identify current challenges and limitations in the design and administration of the MHB and other benefits and explore potential solutions through innovation, legislation, and regulatory policy.
Bystander Empowerment Workshop: How to Respond to Microaggressions in Clinical Environments (INV307)
Saturday, March 25, 10-11 am
In this workshop, participants will learn, collaboratively apply and individually practice strategies for responding to microaggressions in the clinical environment. Following audience activation with online polling, the workshop begins with a brief large-group review of a working definition for microaggressions and data on the prevalence and impact of microaggressions. Using online polling, we next introduce and normalize common barriers to responding to microaggressions. Participants then receive a toolkit document with various microaggression response strategy examples with sample language. They will apply this toolkit in small-group discussions to generate multiple potential responses to one of three microaggression case scenarios, followed by a large group discussion in which small group representatives share reflections with the larger group. Participants then return to their small groups for a series of rapid, brief role-play simulations to practice various responses. The workshop concludes with a final reflection and intention-setting exercise via online polling.
From this session, participants will take away the toolkit document for future reference, an awareness of their own reflex and aspirational response strategies, and the experience of having developed and practiced multiple potential responses to clinical microaggression scenarios.
Cambia Leadership Lecture - Sponsored Breakfast
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.
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.