The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) are exploring opportunities for more formalized collaboration.
NAHC and NHPCO have formed a joint exploratory committee to assess how the two industry groups may be able to partner going forward. While they have not announced specific plans, they also have not ruled anything out, including potential partnership, joint venture, merger or other type of combination.
“Any and all types of collaboration are on the table for exploration and consideration,” the organizations told Hospice News in a combined email. “Currently, the two organizations collaborate on a largely ad hoc basis on policy and advocacy efforts. In recent months, we have been more intentional and consistent about that collaboration. This is an exploratory process, which will lead to discovery and analysis.”
The exploratory committee is working to determine the right path forward, including “new or deeper ways in which we can work together,” NAHC and NHPCO representatives stated in the email.
The discussions are rooted in a shared belief that unification will benefit their respective members and ultimately the patients and families they serve, the organizations indicated.
Recently, this included efforts related to program integrity within the Medicare Hospice Benefit.
“All options are on the table, provided they strengthen the voice of hospice and health care at home. The primary benefits we seek through improved collaboration are to improve member service, efficiencies, and unifies stronger advocacy with Congress and the [Biden] administration,” Thomas Threlkeld, director of communications at NAHC told Hospice News in an email.
NAHC and NHPCO jointly retained McKinley Advisors to help support the exploratory process. The consulting firm will analyze potential opportunities to strengthen the ties between the two organizations.
McKinley will conduct in-depth interviews with industry stakeholders during the next several weeks and report its findings and recommendations to the NHPCO and NAHC boards.
“The exploratory committee expects to issue additional communications about these findings and our collective next steps regarding the collaboration opportunities in May,” NHPCO and NAHC representatives told Hospice News.
As the decision process unfolds, NHPCO and NAHC will each continue their current advocacy work and provide their members with information, resources, services and networking opportunities.
“In the immediate term, members of each organization should be glad to know that they are represented by forward-thinking organizations that act in the best interests of their members,” spokespeople for the groups told Hospice News. “In terms of the member experience, there should be no impact in the foreseeable future.”