CMS demo makes a mock­ery of hospice care phi­los­o­phy

Modern Healthcare - - COMMENT -

Re­gard­ing “CMS will try of­fer­ing hospice pa­tients pal­lia­tive, cu­ra­tive treat­ments” (Mod­ern­Health­, March 18), this makes a mock­ery of hospice phi­los­o­phy. Hospice is not a place or a lo­gis­ti­cal mat­ter; it is a pres­ence of mind. It is mu­tu­ally exclusive to si­mul­ta­ne­ously at­tempt cure and pur­sue end-of-life care. Those who at­tempt both do both poorly, and risk greater tox­i­c­ity from ag­gres­sive ther­a­pies taken less se­ri­ously. The qual­ity of an in­di­vid­ual’s re­main­ing life will suf­fer as a re­sult. These “ex­perts” clearly have lit­tle hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence. I am frankly ap­palled that Sen. Ron Wy­den would con­sider the choice be­tween hospice and cu­ra­tive care to be a false one. That is the de­fense of an un­e­d­u­cated per­son.

Dr. John Rochat Men­do­cino Coast Hospi­tal District

Fort Bragg, Calif.

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