To detractors of health reform, universal health care is code for rationing, or "less care". And for those detractors, palliative care is associated with less care. Reform opponents use the argument of rationing because they know that there is little political will to provide "less care".
Yet this argument falls short on two counts. Less care ,or rationing, takes place in the current system, for those who are uninsured, or underinsured. And less care does not have to mean substandard care, as data from the Dartmouth Medical Atlas has shown. Interestingly, those opposing health reform are the same who oppose comparative effectiveness studies, and their deployment to guide clinical practice.
The promises to contain costs advanced recently by the coalition of hospitals, physicians, and pharmaceutical manaufacturers, among others, are surely commendable. But one has to wonder what can these providers and organizations do that hasn't already been tried? Their promises were surely short on details.
When it's time to fill in the specifics, it will be time to take a close look at Advanced Palliative Care Communities (APCCs) see here and here , and how palliative medicine physicians in those communities practice their specialty to produce better outcomes at lower costs.
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