JOPLIN, Mo. – This month Hospice Compassus is recognizing National Hospice and Palliative Care Month by raising awareness of the many benefits of hospice care and encouraging dialogue between providers and families about quality care options available to those with a life-limiting illness.
Hospice provides patients and families with an additional layer of support by helping care for those facing end-of-life illnesses. Patients who receive hospice care live an average of 29 days longer and often see their symptoms managed more effectively than those who opt out, according to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
“Every person deserves to enjoy quality end-of-life care, yet nearly half the people eligible for hospice care do not receive it,” said John Alden, D.O., Medical Director for the Hospice Compassus program serving Four State area, including Joplin and Lamar, Mo. and Pittsburg, Kansas. “We have a responsibility as physicians to educate patients and their families about pain control and symptom management when curative medicine is no longer working.”
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization studies have found that eight out of 10 Americans would prefer in-home care if facing a life-limiting illness. Hospice allows patients to spend quality time at home with friends and family, instead of continuing treatment in a hospital.
“Hospice helps patients get the most out of life by supporting their physical, emotional and spiritual needs,” said Dr. Alden. “I encourage other healthcare providers to educate their communities about hospice as a service benefitting a wide array of patients that often increases quality of life and even length of survival.”
Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance will often cover hospice expenses as a benefit to their members, yet many people remain unaware that hospice care is a choice available to them. Any patient facing a serious medical condition that is not improving under optimal treatment should talk with his or her doctor and insurance provider about hospice care options.
Hospice is able to provide quality, compassionate care to more than 1.65 million people each year. With greater awareness, better understanding, and more open dialogue, Hospice Compassus hopes to bring quality hospice care to more people who need it.
In 2012, Hospice Compassus became the first hospice provider in the U.S. to publicly reveal patient quality data, setting the standard by which all U.S. hospice providers are measured. The data shows significant achievements toward establishing and continuing to raise industry benchmarks after a year of reporting quality data at more than 50 community-based programs nationwide.
Hospice Compassus will continue to carry out its national quality initiative until 100 percent compliance is achieved through continuous action in the Four State area and each of its community-based hospice programs across the U.S. For more information about the services offered by Hospice Compassus, call 888-723-9272 or visit www.hospicecompassus.com.