Call for Demonstration to Ensure Equitable Access for the Seriously Ill

Categories: Care, Leadership, and Opinion.

In a new article posted on the CSU Shiley Institute for Palliative Care blog, NHPCO’s Annie Acs and Lori Bishop along with Dianne Munevar and Ryan Murphy, two researchers from NORC at the University of Chicago, look at the significance of making community-based palliative care available for those coping with serious illness.

In the blog article, “Ensuring Equitable Access to Needed Care for the Seriously Ill through the Medicare Care Choices Model,” they call for a second generation of the Medicare Care Choices Model (MCCM) demonstration that would explore a new option for Medicare beneficiaries to receive palliative care services from selected hospice providers.

The MCCM is a demonstration model being conducted by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, a division of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The MCCM demonstration is soon to conclude.

In the article, these noted experts write:

For a seriously ill individual, having the option to stay home to receive health care could save their life. However, most health care services are still delivered mainly in the hospital or in physician office settings. And given the workforce shortages across our nation’s hospitals and most health care settings, which are extreme in some underserved communities, this has meant certain patient populations simply do not get the care they need.

One often underutilized solution to this problem is community-based palliative care. Beneficial at any stage of a serious illness, palliative care is an interdisciplinary model of care designed to anticipate, prevent, and manage physical, psychological, social, and spiritual suffering to optimize quality of life for patients, their families and caregivers. Care is delivered by hospice and palliative care providers through an interdisciplinary team in the patient’s home, allowing those already suffering from serious illness to remain safe from communicable disease, comfortable, and surrounded by loved ones while alleviating the burden on our nation’s hospitals, many of which are stretched to capacity due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Read the full article on the CSU blog page. , “Ensuring Equitable Access to Needed Care for the Seriously Ill through the Medicare Care Choices Model.”

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