CMS hospice demo represents a step forward
Regarding the article “CMS hospice plans draw mixed reactions” ( ModernHealthcare. com, March 19), the upcoming CMS hospice demonstration is a critical step in the evolution of end-of-life care.
I experienced this situation firsthand two years ago, when my mother died from advanced lung cancer.
It was incomprehensible to me at the time that we had to navigate a complex web of coordination from multiple providers and time her transition to a disassociated inhome hospice provider in a way that maximized her quality of life. The situation was exacerbated by her multiple comorbidities and the subpar quality of care by her hospice team that prompted investiga- tions after her death by both the CMS and state officials.
Suffice it to say, I firmly believe we all have the right to die with the best quality of life that aligns with our personal beliefs ( i. e., do not resuscitate/do not intubate).
By establishing dual coverage, the CMS would go a long way toward creating the bridge care that’s necessary for complex cases. In my mother’s case, it would have eliminated a vast amount of coordination and advocacy that I found myself doing at a time when all I wanted to focus on was her every waking minute.
Though I would do it all again in a heartbeat, I do hope the demonstration prompts a necessary evolution in treatment protocols that more specifically define “curative” and “hospice,” in order to cover care that comfortably extends life. Kelly Stein Frisco, Texas