Discern Endorses New National Guidelines That Call For Improved Access To Palliative Care

November 2018

Palliative care can help people living with serious illness and their families deal with the physical symptoms and psychosocial burdens of illness and treatment. Although palliative care can be delivered concurrently with disease-focused treatment to improve quality of life, many Americans do not have access to needed services.

To improve access to palliative care, new Clinical Practice Guidelines for Quality Palliative Care, 4th edition urge clinicians and health care organizations to integrate it into the services they provide for all people living with serious illness, regardless of diagnosis, prognosis, or age. The guidelines also call for palliative care to be available wherever people receive care, including: outpatient clinics, cancer centers, long-term care facilities, office practices, homeless shelters, dialysis units, and at home.

Discern Partner, Tom Valuck represents Discern on the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) Quality Alignment Hub Accountability Workgroup and provided input to the guidelines update. Discern has also joined more than 80 organizations across the U.S. in endorsing the Guidelines, which expand on the eight domains of palliative care in the 3rd edition and include clinical and organizational strategies, screening and assessment elements, practice examples and tools, and other resources to help provider organizations with implementation.

Discern has engaged in many other initiatives related to defining and measuring value in post-acute, long-term, serious illness, and end-of-life care. Recently, Discern Director Theresa Schmidt was interviewed in a podcast on the value of Hospice and Palliative Care for patients and their families. Earlier this year, Tom Valuck and Discern Vice President Russ Montgomery published two articles in a supplemental issue of the Journal of Palliative Medicine. Discern experts have also led projects on serious illness payment models and quality measures, standards and quality in senior living communities, analysis of innovative programs in post-acute care, value-based program design, and quality improvement.

To learn more about the new palliative care guidelines, visit http://www.nationalcoalitionhpc.org/ncp.

For more information on Discern’s capabilities related to serious illness, contact Theresa Schmidt at tschmidt@discernhealth.com.

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