Hospice Cares More and Costs Less: Unprecedented Cuts Planned in Louisiana

Candlelight vigil on January 23 on steps of state capitol in support of hospice sponsored by Alliance for the Advancement of End-of-Life Care.

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Louisiana's Alliance for the Advancement of End-of-Life Care

Research and other states’ experience shows that hospice actually costs less while providing better and more appropriate care for dying patients.

Baton Rouge, LA (PRWEB) January 16, 2013

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is under fire for eliminating all Medicaid hospice care in Louisiana. A candle light vigil will protest his unprecedented cut, as Louisiana becomes one of only two states to deny this care.

While the intent of the directive is to save costs, effective February 1, 2013, research and other states’ experience shows that hospice actually costs less while providing better and more appropriate care for dying patients. Hospice Analytics released a study based on 2010 Medicaid figures. In Louisiana, average savings were estimated at $17,601 for hospice care compared to patients who were hospitalized at end of life. Arizona recently reinstituted hospice care after Medicaid costs increased by almost five percent when the hospice benefit was eliminated.

Whether a patient lives with family or in a nursing home, caregivers often seek emergency care when the patient experiences a medical crisis or fever. Hospice care manages the crisis in the home setting rather than transporting the patient to the emergency room for hospitalization.

Many have pointed to the irony of Governor Jindal eliminating a program he helped create when he served as Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (1996-98). The Jindal Administration initially told the public and legislators in December that only home hospice care was being cut, then later admitted the state is eliminating all hospice care - both at home and in nursing facilities - for people covered by Medicaid.

More than 1,700 terminally ill Louisianans received Medicaid hospice care in 2012, according to Jamey Boudreaux, Executive Director of the Louisiana-Mississippi Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

Candlelight Vigil – to protest the elimination of hospice care is scheduled for:

Wednesday, January 23, 2013
4:00-6:30pm
The State Capitol, front steps

For more information on this issue and research done in other states visit: http://www.lmhpco.org/news/index.shtml.


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