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CCCC Top 5 blog posts in 2015

2015 was a big year for palliative care, advance care planning and POLST in California and around the country.

The Coalition for Compassionate Care of California’s most read blogs from 2015 focus on the goals of palliative care and actions being taken to ensure people get the care that they need and no less, and the care that they want and no more.

This Top 5 list encapsulates what made 2015 so memorable and sets the stage for what is to come in 2016.

1. Do No Harm: 5 things to consider before hospitalizing or operating on pre-terminal and advanced elderly patients

Dr. Daniel R. Hoefer, chief medical officer of outpatient palliative care for Sharp HealthCare, is concerned that “most prognostication is now focused on death” and is rarely focused on patient-centered quality outcomes. He makes the case for taking “a second look at the care we provide to the pre-terminal and advanced elderly, and remember a basic tenet of heath care: primum non nocere – first do no harm.”

2. Gov. Brown signs AB 637 allowing NPs and PAs to sign POLST forms

On Aug. 17, 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that would authorize California nurse practitioners and physician assistants to sign the POLST form.

3. Advance care planning codes included in 2016 Physician Fee Schedule

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final 2016 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule including two CPT codes to reimburse for advance care planning on Oct. 31, 2015. Reimbursement for advance care planning is a game changer, bringing CCCC supporters one step closer to our goal of promoting high-quality, compassionate care for all Californians who are seriously ill.

4. Thinking Ahead Matters: Whitepaper on conservatorship and informed decision-making

In an effort to generate more of an understanding about the healthcare decision-making process of people with developmental disabilities (known as conservatorship), CCCC released a whitepaper with the aim of fostering greater self-determination and empowerment of this population throughout life as well as at the end of life.

5: Report: California making progress toward a more supportive environment for end-of-life care

Dying in California: A Status Report on End-of-Life Care serves as a snapshot of the state’s progress in fulfilling five key recommendations laid out in the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life, and finds that California is making strides to create a more supportive environment for people facing serious illness.

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