Policy and Regulatory Considerations to Address Urgent Needs During the Pandemic Recommendations from

Minnesota's Serious Illness Action Network

To address urgent needs in serious illness care during (COVID-19), Stratis Health and Minnesota Network of Hospice & Palliative Care (MNHPC) convened a virtual forum in August 2020, resulting in a new report that includes action plans for the pandemic and beyond.

To ensure all stakeholders were represented, more than 100 attendees included patients and families, caregivers, clinicians, health care organization leaders and staff, payers, and allied organizations concerned with serious illness care across the full continuum of care.

Stratis Health and MNHCP leaders synthesized the input and discussion into actionable recommendations organized around three themes:

Technology and Infrastructure:

  • Rethink how technology can support those with serious illness care
  • Develop a registry for physician orders for life-sustaining treatment (POLST) and advance care planning (ACP) documentation
  • Improve access to and support for the use of technology for patients and caregivers

Workforce and Training Support

  • Normalize and proactively support ACP as part of health care delivery
  • Support workforce development and confidence in technology use for remote care delivery

Regulation and Reimbursement

  • Reduce variations in coverage and payment requirements across payers that make it challenging to develop and deliver serious illness care
  • Provide adequate reimbursement and regulatory incentives for increasing utilization of ACP
  • Implement regulatory and reimbursement flexibilities to structure services that better meet the needs of seriously ill patients

Opportunities for stakeholder coordination and collaboration can support and strengthen organizations and services already in place in Minnesota. We look forward to continued dialogue and action.

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