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Profiteering: Patient-Centered  Vs. Profit-Driven Hospice Care – Part 5

Profiteering: Patient-Centered vs. Profit-Driven Hospice Care – Part 5

Post Series: Profiteering 2

ADVOCATING FOR CHANGE, TRANSPARENCY TO ENSURE QUALITY HOSPICE CARE FOR ALL


Providing all terminally ill patients with compassionate, quality care at the end of life was the vision of Dame Saunders and is the commitment not-for-profit hospices have made to patients and families for years. Still, hospice and palliative care continue to suffer from a lack of full understanding and from a range of misperceptions – all of which lead to fewer than half of terminally ill hospitalized patients receiving a referral to hospice.33

News coverage about hospice deficiencies, while vital to advancing information, adds to the confusion and erodes the trust that is so important between patients, families and hospice care providers. Unless we in the hospice field recognize the urgency of addressing these problems and take effective action, the original patient-centered hospice movement could be permanently damaged by profit-driven motives of a growing segment of the industry.   

Ultimately this question cannot be ignored: Does it exceed the ethical boundaries of the hospice movement, whose legacy lies in putting the patient first, to allow market-driven companies to control end-of-life care? Certainly the statistics presented here should raise concern among those who believe that the dying deserve to be treated with dignity and compassion and not as a target for potential profits. 

Now is the time to stand up, together, for the rights of dying patients, support patient-centered hospice organizations who are providing quality care for those patients, and reject the profit-focused practices of the companies who are exploiting this situation of need. Policymakers, regulators, community leaders, and healthcare providers must take up the cause and protect the legacy of compassionate, high-quality care for the dying.


References

1 https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/1832198

2  https://homehealthcarenews.com/2017/07/hospices-may-profit-from-live-discharges/

3 https://newoldage.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/03/differences-in-care-at-for-profit-hospices/

4 https://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-02-16-00570.asp

5 https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/1832198

6 https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/is-that-hospice-safe-infrequent-inspections-means-it-may-be-impossible-to-know/2014/06/26/e258e880-eaa4-11e3-b98c-72cef4a00499_story.html

7https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/1832198

8 https://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-02-14-00070.pdf

9 https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/leaving-hospice-care-alive-rising-rates-of-live-discharge-in-the-us-raise-questions-about-quality-of-care/2014/08/06/13a4e7a0-175e-11e4-9e3b-7f2f110c6265_story.html

10 Ibid

11 Ibid

12 Ibid

13 Ibid

14 Ibid

15 Ibid

16 https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/2014/12/26/a7d90438-692f-11e4-b053-65cea7903f2e_story.html

17 https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/2014/12/26/a7d90438-692f-11e4-b053-65cea7903f2e_story.html

18 Ibid

19 https://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-02-16-00570.asp

20 https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/2014/12/26/a7d90438-692f-11e4-b053-65cea7903f2e_story.html

21 Ibid

22 https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/1832198

23 https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/is-that-hospice-safe-infrequent-inspections-means-it-may-be-impossible-to-know/2014/06/26/e258e880-eaa4-11e3-b98c-72cef4a00499_story.html

24 https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/1832198

25 Ibid

26 Ibid

27 Ibid

28 Ibid

29 Ibid

30 Ibid

31 ibid

32 Ibid

33 https://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(18)30756-3/fulltext

About National Hospice Cooperative

Our mission is to provide world-class, business support services, maximizing financial and process efficiencies to empower community-based, not-for-profit hospice providers to focus their resources on the delivery of quality care.

Contributors

Sharon Schreiber
CEO BrandWeavers for Health

Karen M. Wyatt MD
Physician and author of
What Really Matters

Jeff Lycan
President of the
National Hospice Cooperative

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