Palliative care – treatment in which the focus is on managing patients’ symptoms rather than curing illnesses — holds promise for both achieving patients’ goals and reducing end-of-life medical costs, according to healthcare experts.
New approaches to this type of care were discussed yesterday at a forum that drew palliative specialists from southern New Jersey and Pennsylvania to Rowan University’s Cooper Medical School. They discussed how palliative care is expanding beyond specialists to other doctors, as well as nurses who provide care to patients at their homes.
Cooper University Health Care President and CEO Adrienne Kirby said palliative care exemplifies the team-oriented approach needed to balance healthcare quality and cost. “I believe that the financial argument for palliative care is building and I think it’s building faster than maybe some of us realize,” Kirby said.
Teams of healthcare providers, including doctors, nurses, chaplains and mental-health providers, generally provide palliative care. They focus on providing the quality of life desired by patients who have painful conditions that cannot be cured.
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