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J Palliat Med. 2003 Dec;6(6):1001-12.

The PhoenixCare Program.

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  • 1C. Lockhart Associates, Tempe, Arizona 85283-2366, USA.


In response to a perceived need for patient access to palliative care and supportive services prior to hospice eligibility, Phoenix-based Hospice of the Valley (HOV) applied for and received a 3-year demonstration grant (1999-2001) from The Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ) Promoting Excellence in End-Of-Life Care Project. HOV established the PhoenixCare project as a demonstration of palliative and coordinated care (case management) services for seriously chronically ill individuals still undergoing active treatment of their disease within a managed care setting. The model emphasized patient/family self-empowerment and prevention. The goal was to demonstrate that it was possible to expand the scope of care for the seriously chronically ill, add palliative care, and improve patient quality of life at less (or no more) cost than that for a comparable group of managed care patients not receiving PhoenixCare services. The model proved most useful to patients willing and able to assume a degree of control over their own care. Physicians referred fewer than 5% of the patients enrolled while managed care plan case managers and hospital discharge planners referred 83%, suggesting that in organized systems of care physicians are not a primary source for patient referrals. The structure and content of the PhoenixCare model, its general acceptability to patients, physicians and managed care plans, and its applicability to other sites are discussed in this article. Outcomes from the study will be published in a subsequent paper.

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