We are always coming across statistics in the literature and comments from providers who tell us about people getting into hospice care too late to truly benefit from all that it has to offer. Primarily it's because one must choose to elect the service and therefore must suspend any curative or prolonging therapies. Most people are not wanting to do that. Totally get that. So what we really need to be looking at is how to deliver high-quality, compassionate, multi-disciplinary end-of-life care seamlessly--no need to elect it. As the needs grow at the end of life, certain services, like additional nursing visits, just begin to build. The problem is, no one has figured out a way to contain or control the costs in something that has no boundaries, like the current Medicare Hospice Benefit.
Hospice Foundation continues to look at this issue, to encourage collaborations among our grant recipients to enhance the end-of-life experience for all.
What do you think? How should this care be handled?