The term palliative care is used to describe medical care given to people who are suffering from serious chronic illnesses to alleviate symptoms, but not cure the condition. The core principle of palliative care is the alleviation of symptoms of the illness in order to increase the comfort and well being of the patient and immediate family. This, as opposed to curative care, does not seek to treat and cure the underlying disease.
Palliative care teams provide assistance to patients who are in hospitals, in hospice care and in their homes. The care provided, while similar in some aspects to that of hospice care, is more broad-based and not restricted to those who are at end-of-life.
Key Aspects of Palliative Care
Many people suffer from long-term chronic illnesses that are not in themselves life-threatening but which seriously affect their quality of life. Consequently, people suffering from chronic illness often withdraw from society because they are embarrassed by their condition and their inability to function normally. Apart from experiencing excessive pain, they often suffer from low self-esteem and other psychological issues.
Because of this, palliative care programs are based on a holistic approach that seeks to:
As the use of palliative and hospice care increases, the need for services continues to grow. Traditional service portfolios have evolved and alternate payment models have emerged. Here is a review of some of the models.
The regulations regarding the collection of performance data as required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) came into effect in January 2017 and is of tremendous importance to primary care providers (PCPs) because it enacts revised methods of clinician reimbursement for the treatment of Medicare patients. This...