Health

Updated Health Care Guide Aims to Bridge Service Gaps in Black Communities

A Virginia nonprofit recently updated its guide that aims to give Blacks better access to hospice and palliative care, making the first revision to the guide since 2007.

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s “Black and African-American Outreach Guide” highlights disparities in Black communities and standard practices of outreach, according to fellow nonprofit Goodwin House Inc., which worked with NHPCO on the update.

“I was honored to collaborate with the NHPCO’s Diversity Advisory Council to update the Black and African-American Outreach Guide to provide health care organizations around the country with the tools to become more inclusive,” said Arion Lillard-Green, Goodwin House hospice spiritual counselor and co-author of the revision. “The guide will help organizations facilitate conversations and help more minority populations access and benefit from palliative care and hospice services.”

The updated guide, which additionally focuses on hospice services, palliative care and instruction on outreach to Black and African American media outlets, says that only 8.2% of the 1.49 million Medicare beneficiaries who received hospice care were Black.

“It’s critically important that all of us in the provider community recommit to doing better to ensure equitable access to all diverse communities in need of the high-quality and compassionate care that hospice provides,” said Edo Banach, NHPCO president and CEO. “The outreach that Goodwin House is undertaking is an excellent example of an organization working to make that commitment a reality.”

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