Sally Adelus Offers Perspective on Affordable Care Act Ruling

By Sally Adelus, President & Chief Executive Officer, Hospice of the Valley

SAN JOSE, Calif. – June 29, 2012 - In a landmark ruling yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld nearly all of the Affordable Care Act. The Act will have sweeping consequences for the economy and America's health care system.

One aspect of our healthcare system that has been under the proverbial microscope is the care and management of patients with chronic illnesses. Included in health reform legislation are proposed penalties for hospitals that readmit patients with certain chronic conditions within 30 days.

It is our belief that in order to enhance patient care while reducing multiple hospitalizations and unnecessary visits to the ER, we must elevate palliative and hospice care to be included within the overall continuum of care. To do that, we must raise awareness and continue to educate our community about the value of palliative and hospice care.

Palliative and hospice care are proven models to provide expert care and support while also managing costs of care most efficiently during a serious illness and at end of life. Palliative care is appropriate at any stage of a serious illness, and can be provided together with curative and life prolonging treatment to relieve the symptoms, pain and stress of a serious illness – whatever the diagnosis. Additionally, patients and family caregivers can receive emotional and practical support as they navigate their way through the decision process. Once the decision is made to forgo curative treatment, hospice care becomes an invaluable option, and integral part of the continuum of care.

This is the time for a radical shift in the way we think about the future of our healthcare system. Rather than palliative and hospice care being considered options when "nothing more can be done," these specialized areas of care and support must be better integrated throughout the care continuum – we'll enhance the overall quality of care and patient experience, reduce the multiple hospitalizations and unnecessary visits to the emergency room, and thus better manage costs of healthcare.

Media Contact
Jeanne Wun
Community Relations
Hospice of the Valley


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