This Type of Care Can Sharply Reduce Medical Costs, So Why Aren’t Doctors Ordering It?

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?

The biggest hurdle might well be the words used to describe it, said Dr. Jeanine Ellinwood, who leads a team in the specialized field. People hear them, she said, and think immediately of hospice care.

It’s not. It’s palliative care, she said, and yes, there is a difference.

Hospice care focuses on making people comfortable in their last six months of life. Palliative care, however, aims to relieve the symptoms and stress of serious illness with the goal of improving quality of life, and it functions as an extra layer of support for patients and their families. (read more)