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Pilot program saves money and improves patient outcomes

On Behalf of | Nov 28, 2023 | Healthcare Business

A program launched by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services studied the impact of allowing patients to pursue both hospice and curative care at the same time. According to a recently released report, it found that it had wide ranging benefits for individuals of most ages and racial backgrounds. Ultimately, it could be an option for greater numbers of people seeking care in Texas and around the country.

The program

The program was called the Medicare Care Choices Model (MCCM) and altered the existing treatment paradigm for people with certain terminal diseases. The MCCM was available to 7,263 people who were Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries, and it ran from 2016 through 2021. Those who were involved in the MCCM had maladies including congestive heart failure, HIV/AIDS or cancer and were expected to live no more than six months.

The results

According to the report, enrollees who passed while the program was ongoing saved more than $7,000 in Medicare costs compared to a control group. The report also found that there was a reduction in hospital admissions and an increase in the number of days that patients were able to stay at home. It was also determined that those who took part in the MCCM were more likely to accept the traditional hospice benefit and spent more time in hospice care.

The next steps

One of the major criticisms of the program was that it contained a small sample size as only 141 hospices were approved to take part. Furthermore, five participating hospices provided 46% of the patients while only 88 would send any patients at all. Furthermore, the report indicated that it didn’t fully eradicate racial disparities, which could result in hospice law issues.

Hospice, palliative care and curative care may all be effective ways to manage a patient’s physical and mental health. Of course, it’s also important to base your offerings on solid research to ensure that you can achieve a balance between saving money and helping patients obtain the best possible outcome.