Friday, December 19, 2014

New study shows benefits of home-based palliative care

Research published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine finds that home-based palliative care programs may achieve cost savings while helping provide care across the continuum.

Researchers led by Christopher W. Kerr, MD, PhD, examined the impact of a home-based palliative care program that was offered through a partnership between a hospice and a private nonprofit commercial insurance payer in western New York state
The findings are reported in an article, "Cost Savings and Enhanced Hospice Enrollment with a Home-Based Palliative Care Program Implemented as a Hospice–Private Payer Partnership," published in the new edition of the Journal of Palliative Medicine (Volume 17, Number 12, 2014).

The most significant savings were found in the final three months of life where cost savings for those who utilized the available home-based palliative care services was $6,804 per member per month. Hospital admissions and specialty visits were significantly lower than in the control group. Additionally, researchers found that hospice access was enhanced (70% versus 25%) and longer length of stay in hospice were observed.

Researchers wrote, "Collectively, these findings demonstrate the significant potential of a home-based palliative care program to achieve the Institute of Healthcare Improvement's Triple Aims goals of lower costs, higher quality, and improved satisfaction."

Access the article abstract online - a link to the full article is available.