Policy Solutions: Integrating Hospice Care Into Accountable Care Organizations
The Medicare hospice benefit is currently designed as a one-size-fits-all solution for a diverse population with varied end-of-life care needs, but Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) hold promise for innovative, high-quality hospice and palliative care. Two Health and Aging Policy Fellows recently authored a Health Affairs blog post highlighting three strategic approaches for ACOs to improve serious illness and end-of-life care, thereby improving their overall clinical and financial outcomes. These approaches include selectively working with high-quality providers, expanding access to palliative care in community settings, and reimagining hospice as a tailored suite of services to meet beneficiary needs, rather than a pre-determined, generic package. Integrating hospice care into ACOs ensures that those experiencing serious illness and the end of life receive the person-centered, high-value care that is being developed throughout the rest of the care continuum.