Relevant notes and citations provided to TED by Timothy Ihrig.
Healthcare spending is the number one threat to the U.S. economy and way of life, based on current per capita expenditures of the most vulnerable, sickest 15 percent of the population coupled to growth in elderly ill population over the next two decades as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product.
Palliative medicine is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. It is focused on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness -- whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family. Palliative care is provided by a team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work together with a patient's other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment.
The sickest and most vulnerable 5 percent of our population is responsible for nearly 50 percent of health care expenditures. The sickest, most vulnerable 20 percent of our population is responsible for upward of 85 percent of health care expenditures.
Medicare Payment Policy: Report to Congress. Medpac, 2009.
National Scorecard on U.S. Health System Performance, Commonwealth Fund, 2011.
Learn more about the triple aim of healthcare
Palliative care is NOT Hospice. Palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided together with curative treatment.
Early Palliative Care for Patients with Metastatic Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer, Jennifer S. Temel, MD, et al., The New England Journal of Medicine, 2010
"We do things 'to' people."
The problem: "The nature of our healthcare system -- specifically its reliance on unregulated fee-for-service and specialty care -- explains both increased spending and deterioration in survival."
What Changes In Survival Rates Tell Us About US Health Care, Peter A. Muennig and Sherry A. Glied, Health Affairs, 2010
Our entire way of life is in jeopardy.
Palliative Care: Its Role in Improving Health Care, Timothy G. Ihrig, MD
Palliative medicine improves the lives of those it touches.