Lack of Palliative Care Definition Impacts Patients, Hospice Business
Posted on Monday, November 11, 2019 1:58 PM
Palliative care is growing rapidly nationwide with hospice leading the way, but, due to a lack of standardized definition, efforts to build care and payment models are striking out.
Patients who are facing serious illnesses and need palliative care, and providers need accurate and reliable payment and clinical models. A definition needs to exist so businesses can create programs that are profitable.
“We need to define what palliative care is in the marketplace and whether it’s a community-based palliative care benefit, and it can’t be that you ask 10 different people what palliative care is and you get 13 different answers,” said Nick Westfall, CEO of VITAS Healthcare, the hospice subsidiary of Chemed Corp. (NYSE: CHE), at the Home Health Care News Summit conference in September. “It can’t be the scenario anymore, because you can’t produce a sustainable care delivery model. The government can’t think about how to map a sustainable, federal reimbursement model that makes that work, because it is really a cost avoidance piece. That’s why different entities have wanted to get into the space; they recognize the value of that.”
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