Medicare Expanding Access to Hospice Care
Medicare has announced an expansion of a pilot project to allow Medicare beneficiaries to use hospice services while at the same time receiving treatments for a cure. Previously, if you went into hospice care, you had to stop chemotherapy or radiation and other treatments. The theory implicitly was why spend money on a cure if you are expected to die? This has discouraged some from going to hospice. Instead they end up continuing treatments, ending up in ER and then intensive care and then dying. The cost is much higher and the pain and suffering is also more, for both patient and family. Hospice is a really good thing. Studies have shown that in some cases, people in hospice live longer than similarly situated people who do not. End of life is difficult no matter how you look at it, but hospice is a dignified, respectful, and caring way for severely ill people to receive care and treatment.
Read more about end of life in Health Attitude.