“Doctors can improve the quality of life for their seriously ill patients while also reducing the patients’ medical expenses if they make use of one particular care model, so why aren’t they using it?” asks journalist Cathie Anderson in a new piece published in the Sacramento Bee.
Anderson’s question leads her to explore the common misconception that palliative care is the same thing as hospice. Despite numerous studies pointing the efficacy of early palliative care, this perception still persists in the public but it also persists among the medical community. Anderson says that this misconception has real effects on care. She points to the El Dorado County-based Snowline program, which offers hospice and supportive care.
“Currently, because many physicians and patients don’t understand the benefits of palliative care, Snowline and many other support teams have the capacity to take more patients than they are getting. But, if everyone who qualified actually sought placement, there wouldn’t be enough capacity to serve everyone who needs it, according to a report earlier this month from the Oakland-based California Health Care Foundation.
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