Pal­lia­tive-care med­i­cal home start­ing in West­ern states

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Steven Ross John­son

In­creas­ing the role of pal­lia­tive care within the frame­work of acute-care treat­ment is the goal be­hind a new pro­gram be­ing launched by re­gional in­surer Cam­bia Health So­lu­tions, com­pany lead­ers said last week.

The new ini­tia­tive is set to be­gin July 1 and will be of­fered to the more than 2 mil­lion mem­bers cov­ered within the six health plans the com­pany op­er­ates across Ore­gon, Wash­ing­ton, Idaho and Utah.

As part of the pro­gram, Cam­bia will be­gin pay­ing for such ser­vices as coun­sel­ing for ad­vance-care plan­ning, care co­or­di­na­tion and med­i­cal team con­fer­ences among health providers car­ing for se­ri­ously ill pa­tients. In ad­di­tion, the in­surer will pro­vide re­im­burse­ment for home health aides and in- home coun­sel­ing, and pro­vide train­ing to providers on de­vel­op­ing their abil­ity to bet­ter en­gage pa­tients and their fam­i­lies on dis­cussing a plan for end-of-life care.

“We are em­bark­ing on de­sign­ing a se­ri­ous ill­ness or pal­lia­tive- care med­i­cal home pilot where we can sup­port providers and mem­bers in de­liv­er­ing the care that the mem­bers need in their homes or in an out­pa­tient set­ting,” said Tor­rie Fields, pro­gram direc­tor for se­ri­ous ill­ness and pal­lia­tive care at Cam­bia.

The goal is to fi­nan­cially sup­port providers to be­gin hav­ing con­ver­sa­tions with pa­tients ear­lier in the ill­ness process about their qual­ity- of- life plans, Fields said.

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