In this Voices interview, our SVP of Business Development Deanna Douglass, PharmD sits down with Hospice News to discuss how hospice providers are navigating the new regulatory climate going into 2022 and beyond, staffing challenges in hospice, and Enclara’s forthcoming E3 Pro application.
Hospice News: What career experiences do you most draw from in your work today?
Deanna Douglass: As a clinical pharmacist, I have had the opportunity to work in a variety of care settings, providing clinical services for hospices as well as retail, hospitals, and long-term care. I have also served in a consultant role in which I actively participated in a specific hospice’s interdisciplinary team meetings and contributed directly to each patient’s care plan.
Working in the hospice-specific pharmacy benefits management space for almost 20 years, I’ve had the opportunity to follow the evolution of the hospice industry and the changes in the regulatory environment.
What is the greatest issue facing hospice leaders going into 2022?
Deanna Douglass: The number one issue that we hear universally, regardless of big or small, for-profit or not-for-profit, is staffing. There are many drivers behind this, but the challenge itself is universal for all hospices, at all levels of care. Part of what we do at Enclara Pharmacia is help hospices work more efficiently so they can make the most of the human resources they do have. We design our tools and services around the needs of hospice nurses, ultimately supporting greater job satisfaction.
As of September, participation in what’s known as the Medicare Advantage carve-in will double in 2022. What do hospice providers need to do to succeed in it?
Deanna Douglass: They need a plan. It sounds simplistic, but it is very true. They need a plan in terms of how they are going to participate with a Medicare Advantage plan, but also for how they will be accepted as a network provider. Having a way to set themselves up for success and show their value as a provider is key. This comes from driving strong outcomes that validate the quality of care they are providing to the patients enrolled in their specific hospice.