Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Customized Palliative Care Models Improve Care and Reduce Health Care Costs

For high-risk geriatric patients, improved palliative care that is matched to their changing needs at home can reduce emergency room visits, reduce health care costs, and improve overall care. Current gaps in policy and practice that block implementation of these beneficial customized care models are presented in the article "Research Priorities in Geriatric Palliative Care: Policy Initiatives," published in Journal of Palliative Medicine, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available on the Journal of Palliative Medicine website.

Kathleen Unroe, MD, MHA, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, and Diane Meier, MD, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, provide an insightful overview of the challenges in meeting the complex health care needs of the frail, seriously ill elderly population. They identify gaps in policy-related research related to implementation and scale-up of effective care models, payment reform, the development of quality measures, and strategies for workforce shortages and hospice reform.

This study was supported by The National Institute on Aging (NIA) Claude De. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Journal of Palliative Medicine is the official journal of the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) and an official journal of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association.

“Our ability to relieve the stress, symptoms, and suffering associated with advanced illness has never been greater," says Charles F. von Gunten, MD, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Palliative Medicine and Clinical Professor of Medicine, Ohio University. "The challenge is to make that ability practically available to those who need it. This is particularly true for high-risk geriatric patients.

About the Journal
Journal of Palliative Medicine, published monthly in print and online, is an interdisciplinary journal that reports on the clinical, educational, legal, and ethical aspects of care for seriously ill and dying patients. The Journal includes coverage of the latest developments in drug and non-drug treatments for patients with life-threatening diseases including cancer, AIDS, cardiac disease, pulmonary, neurological, and respiratory conditions, and other diseases. The Journal reports on the development of palliative care programs around the United States and the world and on innovations in palliative care education.