A successful leadership training, discussing overtreatment in Maine, and combining palliative and curative treatment
November 20, 2014
In order to bring you more of the news you want to read, RightCare Weekly summarizes and interprets three important articles and provides headlines linking to the many other articles and editorials you’ll find interesting. As always, RightCare Weekly presents articles related to moving our healthcare system toward the right care for all patients.
Join the conversation: Post your comments in our new section at the bottom of this page.
Last weekend, we gathered the recipients of our Young Innovator Grants – students, residents, and faculty members working on 11 innovative projects across the country – to discuss the culture of overuse, the changes coming to the medical system, and how their projects will move us toward a better medical culture. The day was full of powerful stories and shared experiences, and we’re looking forward to working with all of the Young Innovators throughout the next year. You can read about their projects here, and here’s what they had to say at the training:
Senior Vice President Shannon Brownlee was the keynote speaker at the Maine Quality Counts Healthcare Town Hall Meeting on November 6 in Brunswick. Her talk, When Less is More: Curing the Epidemic of Medical Overtreatment, was well received by the packed house, which included an overflow room and web-streaming. In her speech, she described the many harms associated with overtreatment. “Healthcare is having less and less effect on our nation’s health even as we are spending more and more on it,” she said. “Healthcare can’t keep pace with the rate of disease, and mostly it’s chronic disease, which results from socioeconomic determinants of health.” Her talk was followed by a panel discussion and an audience Q&A.
As the debate around legalized assisted suicide for the terminally ill continues, authors Arthur Caplan, PhD and Wesley Smith, in an opinion piece last week in USA Today, suggest a compromise for caring for patients at the end of life. Give patients hospice care AND provide curative treatments at the same time. That way, patients are not forced to choose one over the other because insurance historically pays only for one. One third of all U.S. hospice patients die within a week after being admitted, they believe, most likely due to the Medicare rules. “Hospice is not doing end-of-life care as much as brink-of-death care,” they conclude.
QUESTION: Palliative care is deeply rooted in the idea that patients need to be able to have open and clear conversations with their caregivers about their goals from treatment. The care that patients get after those conversations can be much more humane, and sometimes can even allow patients to live longer than they would with “usual care.” But while palliative care need not require “giving up,” combining palliative care and curative care often seems contradictory to people. How do you talk to your patients about balancing curative and palliative treatment? If you’re a patient, how would you want your doctor to approach that question? Tell us in the comments!
On behalf of RightCare Weekly and the Lown Institute, we wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. We’ll be taking a break next week but we’ll resume distributing RCW on December 4.
Next week is your last chance to get the early bird registration price for the Road to RightCare Conference! Prices go up after December 1. There’s still time to apply for a scholarship to the conference, as well. Scholarships are for students, clinical trainees, nurses, patients, patient advocates and community leaders. You could receive up to $1200 to defray travel costs to conference in San Diego, and registration fees will be waived – make sure you get your application in by December 7!
The Lown Institute, in collaboration with the Do No Harm Project, is calling for applications to the first Do No Harm Project Vignette Competition. The top two vignettes will be eligible for up to two conference scholarships. Applications are due by January 7, 2015. To learn more, read here or apply now.