Sunday, January 06, 2013

Some patients turned away from hospices because of certain kinds of treatment; retiree health insurance might not do well under Obamacare

Paul Span has a New York Times article  ("The New Old Age") Jan 3 about surprising hurdles for patients getting into hospice care.  Many smaller hospices will not accept patients on chemotherapy, radiation, or some sort of intravenous drip even though these treatments, in modern settings, can be intended only for palliative care, not cure.
The link for the story is here

My own Mother was actually in a hospice facility for four days at the end.  All the other treatment was at home.  I don’t see why there would be a problem accepting patients whose palliative treatment continues at home.  She was on oxygen, continuously at the end. 

On Saturday, Ezekiel J/ Emmanuel argued in the New York Times that end-of-life care can be made “better”, but probably not cheaper. 

In another study that can affect retiree health insurance before Medicare availability age, the New York Times is reporting Sunday that many states do not have the ability to control insurer rate hikes under Obamacare.   The worst affected states seem to be California, Ohio and Florida.  This seems like a complicated problem that requires close examination.  Retiree health insurance often provides substandard reimbursement for hospital inpatient (like only 70%) and yet costs about as much as Medicare and Medigap combined.  

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