Quality

Benefits of Earlier Palliative Care


 

Offering palliative care early to hospitalized patients with multiple serious conditions could improve care and help reduce healthcare spending, according to “Palliative Care Teams’ Cost-Saving Effect Is Larger for Cancer Patients with Higher Numbers of Comorbidities,” published in Health Affairs. When adults with advanced cancer (excluding those with dementia) received a palliative care consultation within two days of admission, costs were 22% lower for patients with a comorbidity score of 2 to 3 and 32% lower for those with a score of 4 or higher.

Reference

  1. May P, Garrido MM, Cassel JB, et al. Palliative care teams’ cost-saving effect is larger for cancer patients with higher numbers of comorbidities. Health Aff. 2016;35(1):44-53.

Quick Byte

Efforts to shift provider payment from fee-for-service to more risk-based alternatives are proceeding slowly: Nearly 95% of all 2013 physician office visits were reimbursed as fee-for-service.

Reference

  1. Zuvekas SH, Cohen JW. Fee-for-service, while much maligned, remains the dominant payment method for physician visits. Health Aff. 2016;35(3):411-414. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2015.1291.

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