National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization Promotes Recommendations Released by Choosing Wisely(R) Campaign

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NHPCO applauds new recommendations released as part of the Choosing Wisely® campaign to promote more informed healthcare decision making.

hospice professionals are helping individuals and family caregivers coping with serious illness think through what’s best for them.

The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and the American Geriatric Society have both developed lists identifying five specific tests, procedures or medication therapies that physicians and patients should question – all part of the Choosing Wisely® campaign.

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization encourages physicians to review this new information, particularly in areas that are relevant to people coping with serious and life-limiting illnesses, specifically:

  • Don’t recommend feeding tubes for patients with advanced dementia; instead offer to assist with feeding.
  • Don’t delay palliative care for a patient with serious illness who has physical, psychological, social or spiritual distress because they are pursuing disease-directed treatment.
  • Don’t leave an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) activated when it is inconsistent with the patient/family goals of care.


NHPCO has been a strong advocate for earlier access to hospice palliative care services. Additionally, the organization has a position statement on the Care of Hospice Patients with Automatic Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillators (PDF) available online.

Choosing Wisely® is a national campaign launched in April by the ABIM Foundation and Consumer Reports that promotes conversations between physicians and patients about utilizing the most appropriate tests and treatments and avoiding unnecessary care.

NHPCO will leverage its membership of hospice palliative care providers across the country to promote these new recommendations among the healthcare professionals in their communities.

“On a daily basis, hospice professionals are helping individuals and family caregivers coping with serious illness think through what’s best for them and how to share these wishes with their doctors,” said J Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of NHPCO, “they will make great use of the information and materials developed through Choosing Wisely.”

As additional consumer-focused information is released, NHPCO will work as a national partner with Consumer Reports on efforts to disseminate the resources to the public using patient-friendly language.

NHPCO, the nation’s largest non-profit membership organization representing hospice and palliative care programs and professionals, is committed to improving care at the end of life and expanding access to hospice care. The organization has a strong commitment to increasing awareness and understanding of the importance of advance care planning, encouraging patients to explore their healthcare goals and wishes, share those with family members and discuss them with their medical team.

For more information on Choosing Wisely, visit:

For information on advance directives, and helpful information on end-of-life care, visit NHPCO’s consumer website, Caring Connections at:


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