01 May Palliative Care of Sickest Patients Improves Quality of Life, But Does it Save Money?
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
R. Sean Morrison, MD
Ellen and Howard C. Katz Professor and Chair
Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
New York, NY 10029
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Palliative care is team based care that is focused on improving quality of life and reducing suffering for persons with serious illness and their families. It can be provided at any age and in concert with all other appropriate medical treatments. Palliative care has been shown to improve patient quality of life, patient and family satisfaction, and in diseases like cancer and heart failure, improve survival. A number of individual studies have shown that palliative care can reduce costs by providing the right care to the right people at the right time.
This study pooled data from six existing studies to quantify the magnitude of savings that high quality palliative care provides.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Palliative care has been shown to improve patient quality of life, clinical outcomes, family and patient satisfaction, and extend survival. These data show that by listening to patients, understanding their values and goals, and matching treatments to these goals, we can reduce resource misutilization, reduce wasteful spending, while improving outcomes including survival. By doing this, we improve not only the care of the sickest patients and their families but increase the resources available to other patient populations and needed medical services.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: Future research needs to focus on developing and evaluating new models of palliative care delivery outside of hospitals in the community.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: This study adds to the growing body of research demonstrating that palliative care is one of the few interventions or services that addresses all of the triple aims of healthcare. Better patient care, better population, health, and lower costs.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
May P, Normand C, Cassel JB, et al. Economics of Palliative Care for Hospitalized Adults With Serious IllnessA Meta-analysis. JAMA Intern Med. Published online April 30, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.075
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