On Thanksgiving morning, Thursday, November 28th, Hospice of the Sacred Heart will deliver meals to patients and their families. This is the 13th year the hospice will provide this service project. Over 500 meals will be prepared by Mansour’s Market Café in Scranton, packaged, and delivered by hospice staff members and volunteers.
Not only did this year’s payment update rule include a 1.8% rate increase for 2019 Medicare hospice payments, centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) continued its work to reduce regulatory burdens on Medicare providers at the urging of advocacy groups like Pennsylvania Homecare Association (PHA).
The Pennsylvania Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) is a tool for translating patients’ goals for treatment into medical orders at the end of life. However, legislation is needed to empower healthcare providers such as EMTs to recognize and honor a patient’s POLST when life-sustaining care is needed. Without “codifying” POLST in this way, the patient risks having his or her final wishes disregarded by caregivers or physicians, or changed at the last minute by concerned family members.