Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Tuckson and Schumacher Talk about Changing Healthcare Marketplace

In anticipation of Dr. Reed Tuckson's keynote address at NHPCO's upcoming annual Management and Leadership Conference, "Leading through the Currents of Change" (April 21 - 23, 2016), he spoke with Don Schumacher about some factors that may serve the hospice and palliative care community as it integrates more fully with the nation's medical care delivery system.

Dr. Tuckson emphasized that the time is right or palliative and hospice care to be an essential component of the modern delivery system in the U.S. Medical care delivery is moving from volume-based to value-based, and quality issues - including care settings - are becoming increasingly important to all providers. Hospice and palliative care are well positioned and to add to the changes in care delivery. "If there is ever a time for this field to blossom this is the time," said Dr. Tuckson.

Key points from their discussion
Hospice and palliative care meet the needs and values of the patients they serve and represent better coordination of care. Additionally, the movement towards team based care - which is integral to the hospice and palliative care model - are becoming increasingly important. 

We are seeing the move to whole patient-centered care and hospice and palliative care bring dignity, respect and control to patients and family caregivers.

In recent years there have been many changes in the healthcare delivery system, much because of the Affordable Care Act. There is awareness of the need to be more effective further upstream. Dr. Tuckson spoke of his interactions with people across the country and said he is learning that people need a lot of support in understanding and engaging on related end-of-life issues. Making wishes known and engaging in advance care planning is, ultimately, a positive step for patients and their families. Providers need to create a fertile environment for such conversations and ensure that the appropriate tools have been developed and are available.

The time is right to develop partnerships between community-based hospice and palliative care programs and hospitals and physician organizations, noted Dr. Tuckson. "The focus on value and patient satisfaction provides an entirely different incentive for partnership," he noted.

Dr. Tuckson spoke with Don via Skype.
There is much opportunity. The challenge is how do we translate vision into tangible practices.
Additional clips from their conversation are available online:

Dr Tuckson will deliver the plenary session on Friday, April 22 as part of the Management and Leadership Conference. Registration for the conference, being held at the Gaylord National Harbor Resort & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, is now open.

Reed Tuckson, MD, is the managing director of Tuckson Health Connections, LLC, a health and medical care consulting business that brings people and ideas together to promote optimal health outcomes and value through innovation and integration across the field. Previously, Dr. Tuckson enjoyed a long tenure as executive vice president and chief of medical affairs for UnitedHealth Group.

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