The National Organization for Palliative and Palliative Care (NHPCO) is partnering with tech company Empathy. The collaboration will allow members of the nation’s largest hospice palliative care industry trading group to deliver a co-branded version of the Empathy app to their patients and families.
The Empathy app is designed to help families navigate the logistical aspects of bereavement, including documentation, funeral or memorial arrangements, validating a will, and other necessary tasks.
The NHPCO partnership is expected to significantly strengthen Empathy’s scale. The organization has 1,100 provider members representing more than 4,000 hospice and palliative care facilities. NHPCO members care for more than two-thirds of the patients who choose Medicare Hospice Benefit each year.
âThe loss is overwhelming in itself – add the fact that families have to grapple with loads of bureaucracy immediately after losing a loved one, and suddenly the loss becomes incredibly more difficult,â said Ron Gura, co -Founder and CEO of Empathy. âThe logistics surrounding the death of a loved one should be as simple and intuitive as possible, but rather confusing, costly and emotionally draining. “
Families can spend more than 500 hours in the weeks following the death of a loved one dealing with administrative, legal and financial issues. This can include account cancellations, estate administration and insurance claims, according to a statement from Empathy. The app is designed to help manage and streamline these activities.
Empathy is on a growth path. The company recently raised $ 30 million in Series A funds, led by EntrÃ©e Capital, with participation from General Catalyst and Aleph. The company secured a series of investments this year, including a $ 13 million injection in April.
In this recent round of funding, General Catalyst and Aleph doubled their initial investments in Empathy, which accounted for a portion of that $ 13 million. A number of angel investors also participated. Angel investors are individuals (rather than organizations) who invest in a business, typically a start-up. LocalGlobe and Primetime Partners also contributed funds.
Empathy has gained attention in the hospice care space. Compassus is partnering with the company to offer its platform to the families of their deceased patients as a complement to their own bereavement care services. The two organizations have launched a three-month pilot program in the northeast and plan to deploy it to more than 200 Comassus sites in 30 states.
âFrom a logistical and practical point of view, to access useful information about grief and bereavement when the user may need to find support,â said NHPCO President and CEO Edo Banach , at Hospice News. âHospices can offer this to their clients and it provides another of the many tools that hospices currently use to help provide support and education to those close and dear to the patient.â
The partnership began after a meeting between Gura and Banach to discuss bereavement care.
The US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) require hospices to offer bereavement counseling for at least 13 months after a patient’s death, but hospices often go beyond this by making bereavement care available to their entire community, that the deceased was their patient.
With COVID-19 creating a significant need for bereavement care, many hospices need additional resources to meet the growing demand.
âThe Empathy app is a valuable addition to the resources and support that hospice bereavement programs already provide to those in their care,â said Banach. âWe look forward to working with Empathy to redefine quality and continuing care for the industry as a whole. “