Across most medical fields, advancements in technology and the passage of time have improved care in many ways. Over the years, hospice and palliative care have evolved internally (across care providers), externally (with public perception) and economically. One of the most impressive examples of that is a recent Missouri study that showed the cost of patient care for seniors at the end of life was reduced by 58% when patients were being managed in hospice versus in the hospital without hospice care. Studies like this show how these fields are evolving slowly, but surely.
In 2020, there are a few trends that are likely to take center stage in hospice and palliative care:
Opioid Pain Management In recent years, the opioid crisis took headlines by storm and continues to take precedence in the national conversation. As this epidemic rages on, patients and families continue to have questions and concerns about taking these medications to treat chronic pain from serious illnesses.
Providing Palliative Care to LGBTQ Patients
Today, the unique needs of LGBTQ patients are coming into focus, and issues surrounding topics such as advance care planning and disclosure are at the forefront of this topic.
New Payment Methods Medicare Advantage Carve-In
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has already pushed back the launch of Primary Care First, a payment program designed to improve care coordination and continuum, limit care costs and reduce hospitalizations. Though the program is now set to launch in 2021, much of this year will require agencies to prepare for the adjustment, should they opt into this program.
These are just a few of the trends on the horizon for the next year.