Director of Palliative Medicine at Johns Hopkins to Kick off NHPCO’s 2014 Webinar Series

Thomas J. Smith, MD, Director of Palliative Medicine for Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions will discuss ways to help oncologists and other specialists make earlier referrals to hospice care to launch the 2014 Webinar Series offered by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

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Dr. Thomas J. Smith

Thomas J. Smith, MD, FACP, FASCO, FAAHPM

Patients and family caregivers rely on physicians to help them fully understand what is likely to happen when facing a life-limiting illness and how best to plan.

Alexandria, VA (PRWEB) January 15, 2014

One-third of cancer patients die in the hospital. Only one-half of them use hospice and that’s for an average of eight days. Ten percent of all Medicare dollars are spent in the last month of life and the current system can’t sustain new expensive treatment.

Ways to help oncologists and other specialists make earlier referrals to hospice care will be the topic kicking off the 2014 Webinar Series offered by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

Thomas J. Smith, MD, FACP, FASCO, FAAHPM, Director of Palliative Medicine for Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, is the esteemed faculty for this special Webinar, “Persuading Physicians to Engage Palliative and Hospice Care Earlier - The Anti-Death Panel Approach,” being offered on January 28, 2014 from 2:00pm to 3:30pm ET.

An all too familiar scenario in the US finds a patient leaving the ICU (or not), and dying at home after three days of delirium. The family struggles with regrets and with thoughts of what they wish they had or had not done.

“Patients and family caregivers rely on physicians to help them fully understand what is likely to happen when facing a life-limiting illness and how best to plan,” said J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of NHPCO. “They deserve honesty, compassion, and the time to say good-bye – and hospice can help make this happen.”

Recent media attention has focused on hospice patients with long lengths of service yet those individuals that fail to access hospice or receive care for only a couple of days are often overlooked.

This Webinar, taught by Dr. Smith, will look at compelling data about quality of life, quality of care and cost containment. Strategies to help hospice and palliative care professionals engage with physicians and encourage earlier referrals to palliative care and hospice will be explored as well.

To learn more or register for this NHPCO Webinar, please visit: http://tinyurl.com/NHPCOwebinar.