How Can We Increase The Use Of Palliative Care In Medicare?

(By Donald Taylor, Matthew Harker, Andrew Olson and Janet Bull for Health Affairs Blog, Posted February 13, 2017)

Health Affairs by Project HOPE – The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.

In August, 2016, a 93-year-old woman—the grandmother of one of this Blog post’s authors—died of congestive heart failure, five weeks after she underwent surgery to receive a pacemaker. There were alternative care options, but they were not offered to her and her family in a timely manner, at least in part because of Medicare’s long-standing payment rules that value procedures over discussion of goals and alleviation of symptoms. Medicare paid for the surgery and pacemaker with no questions asked, even though the procedure was, in retrospect, unproductive, wasteful, and even harmful from the family’s perspective. Continue reading article here…

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