In the last six months of life, 30% of Medicare beneficiaries use the skilled nursing facility (SNF) benefit for post-acute care after a hospital stay. Frequently, the circumstances that indicate a need for SNF care are the same as those of a worsening illness trajectory such as functional decline and falls, unstable health conditions, and pain and other symptoms. The following case example and narrative discussion describes the national implications of this issue and the need for Medicare policy changes that allow for concurrent rehabilitative care and hospice services.
Although palliative care as a discipline in high income countries is maturing, it is still somewhat in its infancy in sub-Saharan Africa, an area where this type of care is needed the most: more than 80% of people in urgent need of palliative care live in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). We will describe why the development of palliative care in LMICs is increasingly essential, and how it is currently still underdeveloped. In this manuscript, we discuss the challenges in organizing palliative care in LMICs in regard to the four WHO palliative care pillars: policy, education, medication, and implementation. We will illustrate how several Sub-Saharan African countries are increasingly able to provide palliative care analyzed in terms of these pillars. Ultimately, scientific research and cost-effectiveness analyses of well-developed palliative programs, should encourage both local and international governments and au-thorities to provide more capital and human recourses for palliative care in the future.
Whether it is through enlisting primary providers, building a champion workforce, or hiring more specialist consultants, there is no question that palliative programming must be at the heart of our healthcare system’s quality transformation.
Benefits newly available under Medicare Advantage are not well-known to consumers and uptake has been limited. At the same time, CMS has propsed funding the hospice benefit differently, which would allow MA plans to “carve in” to this benefit, creating additional uncertainty.
Que ce soit en France ou ailleurs, la question de l'euthanasie divise encore l'opinion publique. La Belgique, en dépénalisant sa pratique depuis 2002, fait figure d'avant-gardiste. Mais au-delà de la polémique, cette question délicate conserve bien souvent une part d'opacité pour les patients et leurs proches, tout comme pour les professionnels de la santé. Engagé depuis quinze ans dans la défense de cette liberté de choix, le docteur François Damas réalise ici un état des lieux des protocoles existants et aborde la réalité du terrain avec humanité et délicatesse.
Ce livre constitue une enquête sur l'affaire Vincent Lambert, homme en état végétatif autour duquel sa famille se déchire à coups de procédure judiciaire. En révélant les dimensions politique et romanesque de ce drame familial, elle pose également les questions éthiques de la fin de vie, de l'euthanasie et du suicide assisté.
The field of palliative care (PC) has spent the past decade demonstrating that it improves outcomes for patients, clinicians, and health systems. Forward-thinking organizations preparing for a reimbursement system rooted in value have built robust inpatient PC programs and are rapidly moving toward the outpatient and community settings as well. As PC programs get larger and are increasingly tasked with leading a wide variety of diverse initiatives, population health principles can help to focus programs on high-value activities. This article, written by population health researchers and PC clinicians, seeks to provide PC teams nationally with a variety of population health strategies and tools to guide PC delivery throughout the health system and beyond.
There is a growing recognition of significant, unmet palliative care needs in nursing facilities, yet limitations in the workforce limit access to palliative care services. Attention to palliation is particularly important when there are efforts to reduce hospitalizations to help ensure there are no unintended harms associated with treating residents in place. A specialized palliative care registered nurse (PCRN) role was developed as part of the OPTIMISTIC (Optimizing Patient Transfers, Impacting Medical quality, and Improving Symptoms: Transforming Institutional Care) program, a federally funded project to reduce potentially avoidable hospitalizations. Working in collaboration with existing clinical staff and medical providers, the PCRN focuses on managing symptoms, advance care planning, achieving goal concordant care, and promoting quality of life. The PCRN serves as a resource for families through education and support. The PCRN also provides education and mentorship to staff to increase their comfort, knowledge, and skills with end-of-life care. The goals of this article are to provide an overview of the PCRN role and its implementation in nursing facilities and describe core functions that are transferrable to other contexts.
Recent reports highlight an inconsistent provision of palliative and end-of-life (palliative) care across Australia, particularly in regional, rural and remote areas. Palliative care improves quality of life and the experience of dying, and all people should have equitable access to quality needs-based care as they approach and reach the end of their lives. A palliative approach to care is crucial in rural and remote Australia where there is a reliance for such care on generalist providers amid the challenges of a limited workforce, poorer access, and vast geography. This article describes the development and implementation of the Far West NSW Palliative and End-of-Life Model of Care, a systematic solution that could drive improvement in the provision of a quality palliative approach to care and support from any clinician in a timely manner, for patients, their families and carers anywhere.
In Spain, health competencies are decentralized, and each autonomous community implements its own plans. Our aim is to determine if the existence of regional palliative care plans implies an improvement in health care coverage. We reviewed regional palliative care plans published in Spain and analyzed the following variables: number and profile of palliative care resources, guidelines and objectives of implementation of resources of these plans, and compliance with European standards. The publication of regional plans is associated with an increase in specific resources in the following years. From 2004 to 2009, the implementation of plans in 6 autonomous communities was associated with an increase in palliative care resources compared to those without a strategy (odds ratio: 1.58, P = .02) or with a settled plan (odds ratio: 1.40, P = .07). The same phenomenon was observed between 2009 and 2015 in 4 autonomous communities and 2 autonomous cities compared with those without a strategy (odds ratio: 2.49, P = .001) and those that implemented a plan before 2009 (odds ratio: 2.62, P < .001). Updating and evaluating these regional plans are also associated with the growth of palliative care resources.
L'auteur apporte une réflexion sur l'euthanasie associant anthropologie, sociologie, philosophie, théologie, politique et éthique. Il souligne les divisions qu'elle suscite au sein des sociétés comme des familles, en raison du fait qu'elle n'interroge pas uniquement la mort mais aussi la vie et les valeurs tout en obligeant l'individu à porter un autre regard sur sa propre existence et sa condition humaine.
Background: Palliative care (PC) is increasingly recognized as essential for oncology care, and several academic societies strongly recommend integrating oncology and palliative care (IOP) in daily practice. Similarly, the Japanese government encouraged the implementation of IOP through the Cancer Control Act of 2007; however, its detailed progress remains unclear. Therefore, this cross-sectional nationwide survey was conducted to investigate the current status and hospital executive physicians’ perception of IOP.
Methods: The questionnaire was developed based on IOP indicators with international consensus. It was distributed to executive physicians at all government-designated cancer hospitals (DCHs, n = 399) and matched non-DCHs (n = 478) in November 2017 and the results were compared.
Results: In total, 269 (67.4%) DCHs and 259 (54.2%) non-DCHs responded. The number of PC resources in DCHs was significantly higher than those in non-DCHs (e.g., full-time PC physicians and nurses, 52.8% vs. 14.0%, p < 0.001; availability of outpatient PC service =3 days per week, 47.6% vs. 20.7%, p < 0.001). Routine symptom screening was more frequently performed in DCHs than in non-DCHs (65.1% vs. 34.7%, p < 0.001). Automatic trigger for PC referral availability was limited (e.g., referral using time trigger, 14.9% vs. 15.3%, p = 0.700). Education and research opportunities were seriously limited in both types of hospitals. Most executive physicians regarded IOP as beneficial for their patients (95.9% vs. 94.7%, p = 0.163) and were willing to facilitate an early referral to PC services (54.7% vs. 60.0%, p < 0.569); however, the majority faced challenges to increase the number of full-time PC staff, and < 30% were planning to increase the staff members.
Conclusions: This survey highlighted a considerable number of IOP indicators met, particularly in DCHs probably due to the government policy. Further efforts are needed to address the serious research/educational gaps.
Since its creation, the Czech Republic has developed an advanced health system and social system. Life expectancy at birth has increased by an average of 7 years in only 20 years. However, polymorbidity and multicausality have now become topics of concern. In some ways they are products of our success. Yet, the health system and social system were not designed for these patients nor are health care professionals trained and willing to assess and address clinical needs of fragile, chronically ill, and incurable patients. This is true in much of the developing world where initial improvements have led to this new population-based challenge. In that sense, the Czech Republic is an example of what needs to happen in developing countries. Inpatient hospice care, which has been developing in the Czech Republic since 1993, is not the answer to this problem. Rather, approaches to ensure that the early introduction of palliative care in the course of serious illness care, personalized medicine, and a multidisciplinary approach in the system is required. Focusing only on terminal illness care is insufficient. Beginning in 2005-2006, we have worked to create a system of education and clinical services in specialized palliative care in the health and social system. This article seeks to describe the leadership steps of this systemic change in the Czech Republic with the objective of helping others make the same journey.
Our choice for care at the end of our lives is constrained by many factors, including the options available to us, our capacity to choose and the social structures that constrain our options and therefore our choices. Working with the interaction between personal agency and social constraints is a core public health activity. An intentional public health approach to palliative and end-of-life care can elucidate the direct relationship between our social circumstances and the quality of our end of life and uncover the implications of structural inequity for end-of-life choice. The approach reorients systems and settings to achieve accessible and equitable palliative and end of-life care for all, and identifies contributions that all jurisdictions, settings, organisations, sectors and communities can make to improving end-of-life care outcomes. Frameworks that support this shift in practice and policy are however in their infancy. Implementation frameworks that can structure and guide ‘how’ to translate public health palliative care concepts into sustainable practice are needed. This paper reports on an evidence-based Australian public health palliative care framework designed to achieve this.
Objectives: To determine the effect of the Serious Illness Care Program on health care utilization at the end of life in oncology.
Design: Analysis of the secondary outcome of health care utilization as part of a cluster-randomized clinical trial that ran from 2012 to 2016. Clinicians in the intervention group received training, coaching, and system supports to have discussions with patients using a Serious Illness Conversation Guide (SICG); clinicians in the control arm followed usual care.
Setting/Subject: Patients with advanced cancer who died within two years of enrollment at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Measurement: Health care utilization was abstracted from the electronic medical record using the National Quality Forum (NQF)-endorsed indicators of aggressive cancer care at the end of life and scored from 0 to 6 (one point for each aggressive indicator); t tests and chi-square tests were used to determine differences between intervention and control patients.
Results: The charts of 159 patients who died were reviewed. Neither the main outcome of mean number of aggressive indicators (0.9 vs. 0.9, p = 0.84) nor the proportion of patients with any aggressive care (49% intervention [95% CI: 40–57] vs. 54% control [95% CI: 42–67]) differed between patients in the intervention and control groups.
Conclusion: In this analysis of a secondary outcome from a randomized clinical trial of the Serious Illness Care Program, intervention and control patients had similar end-of-life health care utilization as measured by the mean number of NQF-endorsed indicators. Future research efforts should focus on studying the strategies by which communication about patients' prognosis, values, and goals leads to personalized care plans.
Background: The Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV) is an academic institution of the Holy See (Vatican) which aims to develop and promote Catholic teachings on questions of biomedical ethics. Palliative care (PC) experts from around the world professing different faiths were invited by the PAV to develop strategic recommendations for the global development of PC ("PAL-LIFE group").
Design: Thirteen experts in PC advocacy participated in an online Delphi process. In four iterative rounds, participants were asked to identify the most significant stakeholder groups and then propose for each, strategic recommendations to advance PC. Each round incorporated the feedback from previous rounds until consensus was achieved on the most important recommendations. In the last step, the ad hoc group was asked to rank the stakeholders' groups by order of importance on a 13 points-scale and to propose suggestions for implementation. A cluster analysis provided a classification of the stakeholders in different levels of importance for PC development.
Results: Thirteen stakeholder groups and 43 recommendations resulted from the first round and, of those, 13 recommendations were chosen as the most important (one for each stakeholder group). Five groups had higher scores. The recommendation chosen for these top five groups were 1) Policy Makers: Ensure universal access to PC; 2) Academia: Offer mandatory PC courses to undergraduates; 3) Health care workers: PC professionals should receive adequate certification; 4) Hospitals and health care centers: Every healthcare center should ensure access to PC medicines, and 5) PC associations: National Associations should be effective advocates and work with their governments in the process of implementing international policy framework. Not chosen recommendations for both this higher scored group, plus for the remaining eight groups, are also presented in order of importance.
Conclusion: The white paper represents a position statementof the PAV with regards to advocacy and promotion of PC.
Cet ouvrage de la collection "Espace éthique" regroupe des contributions sur la notion de vulnérabilité, notamment sur les problèmes et les opportunités posés par son usage dans la société. Ainsi, une politique de protection des personnes vulnérables peut, dans le même temps, être une source d'exclusion. Les auteurs estiment que cette nouvelle éthique peut être positive à condition de ne pas verser dans l'apologie de la vulnérabilité.