…from Movement …to Industry…back to Movement
In 1988, 10 non-profit and 2 for-profit hospice agencies formed the Louisiana Hospice Organization to encourage and assist in the hospice movement in Louisiana. These non-competing hospice agencies freely exchanged information, ideas and practices, using the Standards of Practice, published by the National Hospice Organization (in 1985) to guide their way in providing terminally ill patients and their families with an alternative to institutional dying.
In 1992, a similar development took place in Mississippi with the formation of the Mississippi Hospice Organization.
While all hospice agencies are required to meet minimum state standards and Medicare’s Conditions of Participation in order to operate and receive Medicare reimbursements, state hospice organizations, such as LHO and MHO, came into existence to encourage hospice provider members to meet the high standards of care and service proscribed by the National Hospice Organization (NHO). In 2000, NHO incorporated Palliative Care into its mission and subsequently changed its name to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO).
After several years of working jointly to bring hospice and end-of-life education to provider members in both Louisiana and Mississippi, the LHO and MHO Boards of Directors began discussing the possibility of a merger between the two state organizations. On January 1, 2002, Louisiana Hospice Organization (LHO) and Mississippi Hospice Organization (MHO) formally merged into one organization, creating the Louisiana-Mississippi Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (LMHPCO), accepting a new set of By-Laws and electing a 10 member Board of Directors.
The mission of LMHPCO is to protect the integrity of hospice (in a rapidly changing national healthcare environment) and improve the quality of care (for terminally ill patients and their families) in both states through research, education and public awareness. LMHPCO is supported solely by member contributions, grants and donations. LMHPCO works to create a cooperative network of over 130 hospice agencies operating in Louisiana and Mississippi, holding members to NHPCO’s Standards for Care and Ethical Principles in the delivery of all hospice and end-of-life care services throughout the two states.