Expanded insurance benefits break down barriers to hospice care, according to new study

September 01, 2009

New Rochelle, NY, September 1, 2009--Patients with advanced illnesses more than doubled their use of hospice care when a major national health plan made hospice care more readily accessible, according to the results of a comparative study published in Journal of Palliative Medicine, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.(www.liebertpub.com). Journal of Palliative Medicine is the official journal of the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) and an official journal of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA). The article is available free online at www.liebertpub.com/jpm

In contrast with many insurers that limit access to hospice care, national healthcare insurer Aetna (Hartford, CT) studied a trial of expanded insurance benefits for hospice care and added nurse case managers who provided information to patients and their families. The result was a dramatic increase in both overall hospice use and the mean number of days in hospice care. This study must be evaluated in the light of compelling research data over the past decade that shows hospice care provides better care than standard care for patients near the end of life. The percent of patients referred for hospice care and the number of days in hospice care are nationally accepted measures of quality health care. Claire M. Spettell from Aetna and colleagues conclude that more liberal hospice insurance benefits and the addition of comprehensive case management to a health plan can help lead to better health care for patients with advanced illnesses. The authors document about a 70% increase in hospice use in the article entitled, "A Comprehensive Case Management Program to Improve Palliative Care."

"The scientific data has been clear for many years; hospice care for the last months of life is the best care during that period. It's delightful that national health insurers are investigating how to translate that science into better care for those they insure," says Charles F. von Gunten, MD, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Palliative Medicine, and Provost, Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice.
-end-
Journal of Palliative Medicine, published monthly in print and online, is an interdisciplinary journal that reports on the clinical, educational, legal, and ethical aspects of care for seriously ill and dying patients. The Journal includes coverage of the latest developments in drug and non-drug treatments for patients with life-threatening diseases including cancer, AIDS, cardiac disease, pulmonary, neurologic, respiratory conditions, and other diseases. The Journal reports on the development of palliative care programs around the United States and the world, and on innovations in palliative care education.

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. (www.liebertpub.com) is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including AIDS Patient Care and STDs, Population Health Management, and Briefings in Palliative, Hospice, and Pain Medicine and Management, a weekly e-News Alert. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 60 journals, newsmagazines, and books is available at www.liebertpub.com

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 140 Huguenot St., New Rochelle, NY 10801-5215
Phone: (914) 740-2100 (800) M-LIEBERT Fax: (914) 740-2101 www.liebertpub.com

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News

Related Health Care Articles from Brightsurf:

Study evaluates new World Health Organization Labor Care Guide for maternity care providers
The World Health Organization developed the new Labor Care Guide to support clinicians in providing good quality, women-centered care during labor and childbirth.

Six ways primary care "medical homes" are lowering health care spending
New analysis of 394 U.S. primary care practices identifies the aspects of care delivery that are associated with lower health care spending and lower utilization of emergency care and hospital admissions.

Modifiable health risks linked to more than $730 billion in US health care costs
Modifiable health risks, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking, were linked to over $730 billion in health care spending in the US in 2016, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health.

Spending on primary care vs. other US health care expenditures
National health care survey data were used to assess the amount of money spent on primary care relative to other areas of health care spending in the US from 2002 to 2016.

MU Health Care neurologist publishes guidance related to COVID-19 and stroke care
A University of Missouri Health Care neurologist has published more than 40 new recommendations for evaluating and treating stroke patients based on international research examining the link between stroke and novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Large federal program aimed at providing better health care underfunds primary care
Despite a mandate to help patients make better-informed health care decisions, a ten-year research program established under the Affordable Care Act has funded a relatively small number of studies that examine primary care, the setting where the majority of patients in the US receive treatment.

International medical graduates care for Medicare patients with greater health care needs
A study by a Massachusetts General Hospital research team indicates that internal medicine physicians who are graduates of medical schools outside the US care for Medicare patients with more complex medical needs than those cared for by graduates of American medical schools.

The Lancet Global Health: Improved access to care not sufficient to improve health, as epidemic of poor quality care revealed
Of the 8.6 million deaths from conditions treatable by health care, poor-quality care is responsible for an estimated 5 million deaths per year -- more than deaths due to insufficient access to care (3.6 million) .

Under Affordable Care Act, Americans have had more preventive care for heart health
By reducing out-of-pocket costs for preventive treatment, the Affordable Care Act appears to have encouraged more people to have health screenings related to their cardiovascular health.

High-deductible health care plans curb both cost and usage, including preventive care
A team of researchers based at IUPUI has conducted the first systematic review of studies examining the relationship between high-deductible health care plans and the use of health care services.

Read More: Health Care News and Health Care Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.