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A New Medicare End-Of-Life Benefit For Nursing Home Residents

Health Affairs , Volume 29 (1): 130 – Jan 1, 2010

Details

Publisher
Project HOPE - The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.
Copyright
Copyright 2010 by Project HOPE: The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.
ISSN
0278-2715
eISSN
1544-5208
D.O.I.
10.1377/hlthaff.2009.0523
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

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A New Medicare End-Of-Life Benefit For Nursing Home Residents

Abstract

Many elderly people spend their final days in nursing homes. For them, high-quality end-of-life care is an important component of their overall care. Unfortunately, the Medicare hospice benefit—the primary source of palliative care coverage for Medicare beneficiaries—is a poor fit with the nursing home setting. We recommend creating a separate end-of-life Medicare benefit for nursing home residents based on documented need for services that neither requires physicians to certify a person’s prognosis, nor requires beneficiaries to choose it or to agree to forgo curative care. Nursing homes would be paid directly for end-of-life care services and held accountable for their quality.
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