By: Janet H. Forlini and Lee Goldberg

Published: November, 2014

Summary: With a growing population of older people, particularly individuals over the age of 85, there is more and more attention being paid to the quality of end-of-life care and availability of various forms of palliative care. For individuals and their families today, decisions about end of life care are often among the most challenging in part because of the difficult choice of whether to forego curative care in favor of hospice care. Although there is broad agreement that hospice provides a compassionate setting that honors the preferences and values of the individuals at the end of life, such programs remain underused.

This policy brief provides an update on a new form of hospice care that may make end of life choices easier and may increase use of hospice when appropriate.  It is based in part on a forum hosted by the Campaign to End Unwanted Medical Treatment on April 11, 2014, in Washington, D.C. The session featured remarks by Chris Dawe, former health policy advisor to the National Economic Council at the White House. Dawe discussed the recent announcement of the "Medicare Choices Model" that would expand the availability of hospice services.

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