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Combining curative and hospice care

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Famous hospice in London.

A federal pilot plan to let Medicare beneficiaries use hospice services while still getting treatments that aim for a cure is being expanded.

As The Wall Street Journal noted,  a successful test “could lead to a fundamental shift in the delivery of health-care at the end of patients’ lives. Under current Medicare payment rules, beneficiaries can’t get both curative treatment and hospice care at the same time.

“That choice may be one reason overall hospice participation at the end of life remains relatively low—less than 45 percent of Medicare beneficiaries use hospice at the end of life, according to the federal government. Many enter in the final days of their lives, with a median of about 14 days in hospice.”

But note that some private insurers already cover concurrent  curative and hospice treatments.

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