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Hospice and Palliative Care in the Health Care Continuum

presented by Jennifer Kennedy, EdD, MA, BSN, RN, CHC

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Financial— Jennifer Kennedy receives compensation from MedBridge for the production of this course. There are no other relevant financial relationships. Nonfinancial— No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

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Video Runtime: 25 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 9 Minutes

Nearly 50% of Medicare beneficiaries opted for hospice care in 2017, but there are still gaps in care at the end of life. The 2015 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life noted that many individuals do not think about expressing their preferences for care at the end of life. The US health care system is directed toward curative care and is not well integrated with palliative and hospice care. The IOM report established that improving the health care continuum could improve quality of life for patients, decrease medical futility, and improve the experience of patients and families. This course provides an outline of how hospice and palliative care fit into the current US health care continuum and how increased utilization of such specialized services can reduce health care costs while improving quality of life for patients and their families/caregivers.

Meet Your Instructor

Jennifer Kennedy, EdD, MA, BSN, RN, CHC

Jennifer is the senior director of regulatory and quality for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and has been with the organization since 2006. She has more than 30 years of experience as a leader and nurse in diverse health care settings and has worked in hospice and palliative care for the last 18+…

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1. The Current US Health Care Continuum

Today’s US health care system is directed toward curative care and is not well integrated with palliative and hospice care. Many health care providers and health care users do not know about or understand palliative or hospice care as an approach to managing serious and terminal illness. This chapter explains the current US health care continuum, lack of health care and consumer knowledge, and palliative or hospice care.

2. Gaps in the US Care Continuum

There are gaps in care for seriously and terminally ill individuals in the US health care continuum. A 2015 report by the IOM concluded that individuals do not think about expressing their preferences for care at the end of life and that knowledge gaps exist for health care providers about the concepts of palliative and hospice care. This chapter identifies and discusses gaps in care for seriously ill and terminally individuals in the US health care continuum.

3. Hospice and Palliative Care in the US Care Continuum

All individuals with advanced serious illness should have access to palliative care or hospice care if they are terminally ill. A palliative care approach offers patients and their families the best chance of maintaining the highest possible quality of life for the longest possible time. This chapter examines where hospice and palliative care currently fit into the US health care continuum.

4. Benefits of Hospice and Palliative Care

Palliative care is focused on patients with serious advanced illness and their families/caregivers. It supports quality of life through provision of holistic relief from pain and other symptoms, which include emotional and spiritual issues. Hospice is palliative care directed to patients and their families/caregivers when a patient has a limited life expectancy. Both palliative care and hospice care are comprehensive, socially supportive, pain-reducing, and comforting alternatives to complex technology and medically centered interventions. This chapter will explain how increased utilization of palliative and hospice care can reduce health care costs and improve quality of life for patients and their families/caregivers. This chapter will also examine two case studies related to patients moving in the health care continuum toward palliative and hospice care.

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