Psychological Trauma Can Worsen Symptom Burden at End-of-Life

Recent research has found that traumatic experiences can lead to increased pain and symptom burden at the end of life, along with a greater likelihood of emotional suffering and isolation. Collective trauma experiences have been associated with higher instances of pain and dyspnea among more than half of seniors nationwide, a recent study found, published […]

Breaking the Silence: The Mounting Need for Trauma-Informed Hospice Care

Traumatized and abused hospice patients and providers often experience an array of lingering physical, emotional and psychological effects that can fall into a silent abyss of unmet needs. Breaking down the barriers to stronger trauma-informed end-of-life care requires heightened awareness, legislative action and improved care delivery approaches. Some hospice providers have training and education around […]

Pediatric Palliative Care: The Forces Impeding Quality

Pediatric palliative care providers have room for improvement when it comes to understanding the factors that can impact health care decisions among seriously ill young adults and adolescents. A diverse range of social, emotional and psychological developmental factors can complicate the ability of pediatric palliative providers to navigate advance care planning conversations and deliver goal-concordant […]

Palliative Care’s Biggest Growing Pains

Strains on reimbursement, referrals and staffing represent the biggest obstacles to palliative care providers’ viability and growth. It takes time to build up the payment, referral and workforce resources needed to support a sustainable palliative care program, according to Dr. Stephen Goldfine, chief medical officer at Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice. The New Jersey-based nonprofit offers […]

Palliative Care Providers Walk a Reimbursement Tightrope

Though revenue streams for palliative care are often shallow, these services can generate sustainable growth for providers who can play their cards right with payers. Providers walk a tightrope when it comes to ensuring that their palliative care services are financially sustainable, according to Lynn Spragens, founder and partner of Spragens & Gualtieri-Reed, a North […]

Community Education Crucial to Improving Hospice Access Among Unhoused Populations

Identifying patients and finding referral sources are two challenging issues when it comes to reaching homeless populations in need of hospice. Improving equitable, quality care for homeless populations involves providing education to internal hospice staff and to community care partners and referral sources, according to Nycole Snodgrass, director of operations for hospice and palliative at […]

Facility-Bound Hospice Patients Less Likely to Get SIA Visits

Hospice providers in facility-based settings may be underutilizing Medicare’s service intensity add-on (SIA). Compared to routine home care, patients receiving the general inpatient level of care (GIP) were 22.8% less likely to have a SIA-applicable visit, according to an analysis by Abt Associates. SIA visits for patients in GIP on average had 67.6 fewer minutes. […]

Advance Care Planning Billing Rules Impede Equitable Access

Current advance care planning reimbursement structures are limiting utilization and access of these services, particularly among communities of color. The payment barriers blocking more equitable advance care planning are two-fold, existing on both the health care provider and patient sides. On the patient side, Medicare beneficiaries face out-of-pocket costs when advance care planning is performed […]

Hospices Need a ‘Huge Catapult’ to Replenish Workforce

If enacted, the recently reintroduced Palliative Care and Hospice Education Training Act (PCHETA) could make a dent in the recruitment barriers that hospices keep hitting. But clinical education will need a much larger boost to ensure a sustainable workforce, according to many providers.  The training issue is a serious impediment to hospice recruitment, as very […]

Hospices Have High Hopes for PCHETA, But Is It Enough?

Stakeholders in the hospice space are optimistic that Congress will pass the recently reintroduced Palliative Care and Hospice Education Training Act (PCHETA). While some see the bill as a beacon of hope, sustainable change will likely require more than a single piece of legislation. The legislation has percolated for the past five years without passing, […]