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J Palliat Med. 2013 Feb;16(2):179-84. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2012.0414. Epub 2013 Jan 11.

Hospital outcomes for a home-based palliative medicine consulting service.

Author information

1
Department of Family Medicine, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There is a growing need for palliative care services located outside of hospitals.

OBJECTIVE:

This study's objective was to evaluate a home-based, nonhospice, palliative medicine (PM) consultation practice within a fee-for-service environment.

METHOD:

Hospital and emergency department (ED) utilization and cost data obtained from administrative records were analyzed with longitudinal analyses to compare use 18 months before and after service enrollment in a single patient group.

PARTICIPANTS:

Patients (N=369) with advanced complex illness (ACI) referred for home-based palliative consultation participated in the study.

INTERVENTION:

Consultation conducted by nurse practitioners included a multidimensional assessment with recommendations to outpatient physicians for symptom management and guidance to patient and family for goals of treatment and advanced care planning (ACP). Nurse practitioners were supported by a collaborating PM physician. Follow-up visits varied by need for symptom management and ACP.

RESULTS:

Total hospitalizations, total hospital days, total and variable costs, and probability of a 30-day readmission were significantly reduced in the 18-month period following program enrollment. However, probability of an ED visit was not reduced.

CONCLUSIONS:

While requiring replication with rigorous methods, preliminary results suggest a home-based PM practice may reduce hospital utilization for ACI patients.

PMID:
23308377
DOI:
10.1089/jpm.2012.0414
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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