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News & Member Events: Palliative Care

How California Is Changing Palliative Care

Wednesday, November 28, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Katherine Lally
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How California Is Changing Palliative Care

In January, California became the first state to mandate home-based palliative care (care given to improve quality of life for patients with life-threatening diseases) to those in its Medicaid program. In California, that program is called Medi-Cal.

Although other Medicaid programs may pay for components of palliative care — such as advance care planning — “California is truly leading in this regard,” says Stacie Sinclair, senior policy manager for the Center to Advance Palliative Care, a national organization. Hawaii and Washington are also looking at adding home-based palliative care to their Medicaid benefits.

How the California Palliative Care Law Works

Most of the Medi-Cal population is enrolled in managed care plans which in turn contract with agencies to deliver home-based palliative care.  Many of the patients face not only serious illness but a host of other challenges, including homelessness, food insecurity, mental illness or substance abuse. “Those problems probably dominate the care we provide, not just symptom control,” said Dr. Michael Fratkin, founder of ResolutionCare, a company serving people in rural northern California.

Full article here.

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