Day: March 31, 2013

Recent Posts

  • Education & Resources ·

Hospice Savings

A new study in Health Affairs finds that hospice saves Medicare money and reduces hospital and ICU stays near the end of life. The researchers looked at several lengths of stay (days and weeks) as well as patients who stayed about two to three months (53 to 105 days.) It didn’t look at the very long stays that had been in the spotlight as potentially inappropriate, particularly in for-profit settings. But the authors note that efforts to curtail hospice spending and length of stay “may be misguided.” Instead of working to reduce Medicare hospice spending and creating a regulatory environment…
  • Education & Resources ·

As Nurse Lay Dying, Offering Herself as Instruction in Caring

By ABBY GOODNOUGH The New York Times SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. — It was early November when Martha Keochareon called the nursing school at Holyoke Community College, her alma mater. She had a proposal, which she laid out in a voice mail message. “I have cancer,” she said after introducing herself, “and I’m wondering if you’ll need somebody to do a case study on, a hospice patient.” Perhaps some nursing students “just want to feel what a tumor feels like,” she went on. Or they could learn something about hospice care, which aims to help terminally ill people die comfortably at…
  • Education & Resources ·

When Treating Cancer Is Not an Option

By JANE E. BRODY NYTimes.com 620 Eighth Avenue New York, NY 10018 Copyright 2013 The New York Times Company When my husband learned he had advanced lung cancer, he didn’t even want to speak to an oncologist about chemotherapy. He saw no point in treatment that could not cure him and might make him feel worse. Not so, though, for a majority of patients diagnosed with cancers of the lung or colon that have spread well beyond their original site and are currently not curable by any drugs in the medical armamentarium. Most patients with these so-called stage 4 cancers…
  • Education & Resources ·

On the Way to Hospice, Surprising Hurdles

By PAULA SPAN NYTimes.com 620 Eighth Avenue New York, NY 10018 Copyright 2013 The New York Times Company I’ve often wondered why more families don’t call hospice when a loved one has a terminal disease — and why people who do call wait so long, often until death is just days away. Even though more than 40 percent of American deaths now involve hospice care, many families still are trying to shoulder the burden on their own rather than turning to a proven source of help and knowledge. I’ve surmised that the reason is families’ or patients’ unwillingness to acknowledge…