Palliative care and changing policy landscape

Categories: Policy.

“With the incoming Trump Administration and a new Congress about to begin, the future of palliative care policy is very uncertain,” reports Sharon Pearce, NHPCO vice president for public policy.

In the article, “Palliative Care for Patients With Advanced Illness: A Changing Policy Landscape,” published this week by the American Journal of Managed Care, Pearce shares insight into possible policy implications for palliative care in the year ahead.

The article begins:  “Every day, 10,000 Americans join the Social Security and Medicare rolls. Moreover, individuals 80 and older are the fastest growing demographic among older adults, with their ranks forecast to grow from 5.6 million in 2010 to more than 19 million by 2050. The rising number of aging Americans creates a commensurate increase in the costs for healthcare.”

Pearce goes on to explain the value of the interdisciplinary team model of care provision and the importance of providing palliative care services to the seriously ill. Many barriers are challenging access to these services, however, progress is being made.

“In lieu of sweeping policy changes, palliative care advocates have adopted a more incremental approach. Recent policy changes, primarily in the ACA, are allowing small-scale testing of community-based palliative care delivery, and for some innovations in other delivery systems. Other administrative changes are slowly increasing access to Advance Care Planning. While many of these demonstrations are still playing out, some models, including the Medicare Care Choices Model (MCCM), accountable care organizations (ACOs), and the Independence at Home Demonstration, are showing early promise.”

Read the complete article on the AJMC website.

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