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The Need for Palliative Care in Patients Who are Not Hospitalized or in Hospice

Posted on Thursday, July 20, 2017 4:17 PM

Corridor’s board member Jeannee Parker Martin, our former vice chairman and principal, was featured recently in an article on the clinical and financial effects of limited access to palliative care. The actuality is about Jeannee’s mother, who at age 99 continues to live alone. A few years ago, the mother was diagnosed with a slow-moving breast cancer in addition to vascular disease. She was not hospitalized or in hospice care, and so she did not qualify for palliative care through Medicare. Had she received palliative care, a nurse would have tended the sores she developed from her vascular illness. The sores turned to open wounds that required treatment at an outpatient clinic and cost tens of thousands of dollars.

Palliative care increases patient satisfaction and saves medical expenses while reducing the need for hospitalization. Although palliative care isn’t always covered, there have been some positive developments to give us hope. California, for example, will begin offering full palliative care benefits next year.

To read more about Jeannee’s mother’s story, and about the advances in palliative care, visit the original Huffington article, written by Michael Ollove.

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