BREAKING NEWS: Landmark study on hospice cost savings!

Dear Hospice Advocate,

NHPCO and the Hospice Action Network have some big news to share- the publication of a new study in Health Affairs by Dr. Amy Kelley from the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. Dr. Kelley’s research shows what we in the hospice world have known for years- that hospice care provides better quality care at the end of life, while saving Medicare money. This is big news for the hospice community!

HAN has set up a web page with links to the Health Affairs article, some key findings, and a press release about the study.

Hospice Advocates, 2013 is going to be an active year for hospice- a tightening federal budget and the possibility of entitlement reform will continue to drive the discourse here in Washington. This article proves the value of hospice to patients we serve, as well as our value in saving the federal government precious Medicare dollars. We encourage you to use it in all of your advocacy efforts and interactions with your elected officials. Together we can make a difference for hospice!

Dr. William Lamers Jr. dies at 80; championed modern hospice care

Elaine Woo February 19, 2012
Los Angeles Times

“I’m not sick; I’m only dying,” a friend told Dr. William Lamers Jr. The man had inoperable cancer and wanted to go home to die, but his doctor wouldn’t let him out of the hospital.

It was the early 1970s, when most people with incurable illnesses died in a hospital, in a lonely room, attended by doctors and nurses with no specialized knowledge of the dying patient’s emotional and physical needs. There was no system for caring for the dying at home.

The experience opened Lamers’ eyes to a major failing of the healthcare system.   Read full article…

Like taxes, death is certain do you know how to prepare?

April 16, 2012|Barbara Brotman
Chicago Tribune

The room was small, but the questions were huge.

What kinds of treatment would you want — or not want — if you are dying?

How do you choose someone to make medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated?

What happens if you don’t know anyone you can ask?

In a meeting room at the Frisbie Senior Center in Des Plaines, attorney Kathryn Casey was talking about how to plan for medical decisions at the end of life.

Ten men and women sat at round tables, listening intently. They were at an age where the subject was of particular interest. They considered the matter so private that they did not want their thoughts aired publicly. But they had been thinking, hard. Read full article…

In the end, making hard decisions about dying brings personal, financial benefits

By Michelle Balani
Rock Center

Originally published: Sept. 19, 2012.

After being married for 21 years, Paul and Jean Pearson thought they had mastered the art of navigating life’s tough decisions, but nothing could have prepared them for Paul’s illness. Paul, a 73-year-old retired architect, was diagnosed in February with inoperable lung cancer.  Although the couple had talked about their healthcare wishes throughout their marriage, the experience forced them to confront how Paul wants to spend the rest of his days.   Read full article…