Blog Post | January 31, 2017

Palliative Illness Management™: The Future of Caring for Seniors With Life-Limiting Illness


Greer Myers, President, Turn-Key Health

Greer Myers President, Turn-Key Health

As Americans age, they face increasingly complex health issues that impact the quality of life and strain individual, family and societal resources.

Take a look at the overall economic burdens: roughly 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day, and about 10,000 more will cross that threshold every day for the next 19 years,[i] flooding Medicare, Medicare/Medicaid (dual eligible), and the already beleaguered U.S. healthcare system.

From 2000 to 2050 the senior population is projected to grow by 135 percent, and aged 85 and over – the group most likely to need health and long-term care services – is projected to increase by 350 percent.[ii]

Seniors with life-limiting illnesses often suffer through unnecessary, even harmful treatments despite overriding expert opinion that, when patients have a terminal illness, at some point more disease treatment does not equal better care.[iii] Nevertheless, 40+ percent of these households face medical bills that exceed their financial assets.[iv]

Addressing Staggering Economic and Social Consequences 

It is reassuring to witness the long-awaited emergence and receptivity to some form of integrated Advanced Illness Management (AIM) or community-based palliative care for this vulnerable population. Healthcare payers and at-risk provider organizations recognize the benefits and are now seizing the opportunity to effectively integrate available community-based assets and resources into a structured and consistent population health management (PHM) strategy.

Palliative Illness Management™ (PIM™) is a unique population health management model, a derivative of AIM, that integrates within a payer’s broader population health initiatives. It performs as a stand-alone or plugs into existing population health initiatives, supporting payers and at-risk providers shifting from fee-for-service to value-based payment models.

PIM™ deploys community-based palliative care teams complemented by predictive analytics, and identifies individuals earlier in the disease trajectory, offering a platform to support patient and family caregiver engagement.

Individuals with advanced illness who might otherwise go undetected by traditional means are identified earlier in the progression of a disease, ensuring that gaps in care are recognized and closed. For payer-driven population health programs, this approach has a positive, significant impact on the overall economic healthcare burden, mitigating patient and caregiver financial consequences and improving member/patient satisfaction.

To learn more, download Turn-Key Health’s white paper Over-Medicalized Care at the End-of-Life in the United States: Addressing the Economic and Social Consequences.

Over-Medicalized Care at the End-of-Life in the United States Download


References:

[i] Pew Research Center, Baby Boomers Retire, December 2011; http://www.pewresearch.org/daily-number/baby-boomers-retire/; accessed September 26, 2016.

[ii] Tilly, Jane and Wiener, Joshua M.; Population ageing in the United States of America: implications for public programmes; International Journal of Epidemiology; Volume 31, Issue 4; Pp. 776-781; http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/31/4/776.full.

[iii] Wang, 2012.

[iv] Wang, 2012.

 


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