When deployed at scale, palliative care can help achieve many of the health care systems current goals, including reduced costs, improved patient satisfaction and quality of life.
Despite this potential, existing programs hit barriers created by misconceptions about palliative care among referring physicians, as well as health equity concerns, among others, according to an analysts of four payment model demonstrations carried out by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation.
The agency’s findings will likely inform the development of future payment models as the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) takes a multifaceted approach to further palliative care integration.
This could include demos that fuse palliative care into Accountable Care Organization (ACO) or primary care programs, among others, Ellen Lukens, deputy director of CMMI said at the Hospice News Palliative Care Conference in Washington D.C.
“In terms of models, in general, we’re really thinking about how we leverage accountable care and primary care models and other models to provide flexibility to do different things in things like palliative care,” Lukens told Hospice News at the conference. “It’s really important to give providers and other entities that are testing these models tools to be successful. Thinking about where we go from here, that’s a really important context as we think about the future of palliative care.”