The community-based palliative care delivery model is considered by many an exemplary type of healthcare as it integrates inpatient and outpatient care and ultimately improves both patient outcomes and patient/family satisfaction even as it hits one of contemporary healthcare’s bull’s-eyes: reducing costs. So Four Seasons Compassion for Life, a regional and national leader in the advancement of palliative medicine, recently completed a three-year grant with a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Healthcare Innovation (CMMI) award, it was a win-win on multiple fronts (including finding an alternative financing approach within the Medicare program).
According to Janet Bull, MD, Four Seasons’ chief medical officer, “Clinically speaking, palliative care acts as an extra layer of support for patients living with the effects of serious, life-limiting illness on a daily basis. The CMMI grant has allowed our organizations to partner with other regional healthcare leaders to create a program that will ensure these patients receive direct and comprehensive care where they live. We are confident that more patients will now receive this type of care in the long term.”
To that end, the palliative care team (comprising physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, social workers, and chaplains) can offer the following services: symptom management, social work, disease management education, advance care planning, support with complex medical decisions, psychosocial support, patient/family education and, additionally for minority patients, hospital-based translator services.
There’s much more involved, of course, and you can learn about it at the website Four Seasons established, Palliative Care Resource Center.
Four Seasons provides palliative care—not to mention other services for those living with an advanced illness—in the Western North Carolina counties of Henderson, Transylvania, Polk, Buncombe, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain, Cherokee, Clay, and Graham.