More veterans are using hospice care due to new initiative

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

in News

More US veterans are using hospice due to the Comprehensive End-of-Life Care (CELC) initiative implemented by the Department of Veterans Affairs initiative to improve care at the end of life. @LeadingAge

More US veterans are using hospice due to the Comprehensive End-of-Life Care (CELC) initiative implemented by the Department of Veterans Affairs initiative to improve care at the end of life. The findings of a new study,published in the July 2017 Health Affairs, show that the initiative encouraged more hospice use among military veterans, and that the growth outpaced the rate of increase among demographically comparable members of the public receiving Medicare.

Through the four-year initiative, which began in 2009, the VA developed new inpatient hospice units, palliative care staff, palliative care training, and mentoring for leaders and staff, a systematic quality monitoring program, and outreach to community providers outside VA medical centers through the “We Honor Veterans” campaign.

The researchers estimated that the changes resulted in an additional 17,046 veterans receiving hospice care in fiscal years 2010 to 2014. “Compared to enrolled veterans’ hospice use in the years before CELC began, their use of hospice after the initiative increased substantially, and rates of increased use were approximately two percentage points higher than the increases observed for Medicare beneficiaries not enrolled in VA health care,” says Susan Miller, a professor of health services, policy, and practice in the School of Public Health at Brown University. The growth was 7.6 percent among VA-only veterans, 6.9 percent among dually enrolled veterans who used VA care, 7.6 percent among veterans who blended the VA and Medicare, and 7.9 percent among dually enrolled veterans who used Medicare.

The VA began work to establish a system-wide hospice and palliative care program in 2002. Over the decade, the VA saw clear growth in hospice use. During the same period, hospice use also increased among the general population. The researchers designed the study to determine whether the CELC initiative advanced growth beyond the trend seen in the general Medicare population. 

Published by LeadingAge. Click here for original link.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: