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Cancer Supportive Care Spotlight

IP Blog | Dave Melin | November 24, 2015

This week in health care trends, our cancer supportive care spotlight includes how “cowboy doctors” are raising health costs, Medicare’s new Care Choices expansion, a community conversation about end-of-life planning, and the role of spirituality in supportive care at the end of life.

“Cowboy Doctors” and Health Costs

A recent study of where high health costs come from suggests that the culprit may be “cowboy doctors,” define as “physicians who provide intensive, unnecessary, and often ineffective patient care, resulting in wasteful spending costing as much as 2 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product—hundreds of billions of dollars annually.”

New Medicare Program Will Expand Hospice Access

On January 1st, Medicare will launch their Care Choices Model, “a five-year program in which CMS will explore whether certain Medicare patients with terminal illnesses would be well served by the opportunity to receive hospice services while they are also receiving chemotherapy or other treatment.” Supporters say this program will enable patients to more easily receive palliative care without needing to discontinue other treatment first.

Live Well, Die Well: Thoughts on the Best Care Possible Through the End of Life

At a community forum in Spokane, Washington, palliative care expert Ira Byock spoke to a packed house about issues related to end-of-life planning, “particularly the need to look beyond a strictly medical care focus to include personal care, because death itself is personal, not medical.”

Strengthen Palliative Care to Help Build a More Patient-Centered System

Cambia Health CEO Mark Ganz shares his own family story will end-of-life decisions as well as his thoughts on the importance of palliative care and that “an investment in palliative care is not about making or saving money” but about supporting families as they deal with serious health conditions together.

The Supportive Roles of Religion and Spirituality in End-of-Life and Palliative Care of Patients with Cancer in a Culturally Diverse Context

This report takes a look at the role of religion and spirituality in End-of-Life (EoL) care and found that “EoL supportive and palliative care providers could further enhance their practical interventions by being sensitive and supportive of cultural diversity.”

cancer supportive care digest buttonThe articles above are from our dedicated Cancer Supportive Care e-magazine. You can follow us on Flipboard or Twitter, or just watch for the links to this and our other magazines in our regular weekly BioBlog emails. (Don’t get our emails yet? Subscribe here!)

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