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Blue Cross expands benefits for end-of-life care

The state’s largest health insurer this week will begin offering some of the newest and most comprehensive end-of-life benefits in the nation, aiming to prod patients and health care providers to discuss death openly and expand services to help people live out their last days. The move by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts comes

Every Pediatric Hospital Should Offer A Palliative Care Program

When I tell people that I study palliative care for children, I usually hear something like, "You mean taking care of children who die?" It is hard for most people to fathom palliative care for children. The term palliative care often brings to mind images of sick and dying adults. It IS sad to see

Scotland is recognised as providing world-leading palliative care. Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS), as the only hospice service in Scotland for babies, children and young people, is committed to providing the best standard of care to those who need it. The need for holistic palliative care for under-25s, that supports their health, social and emotional

How to ensure people get end-of-life health care they want

My mom paid a painful price for not completing an advance directive about her preferences for end-of-life medical care. She was an intelligent and organized woman who had everything in her and my dad’s life planned out and written down. She even drafted her own obituary. Ironically, she never discussed her end-of-life care goals with

Impact of Early Palliative Care Varies Depending on Patient Age, Gender

A recent study examined the impact of early palliative care (EPC) on quality of life for patients with advanced cancer. The researchers wished to determine the effectiveness of EPC for the various advanced cancer demographic groups, such as age and gender. The investigators, based at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, compared patients

Hospice or palliative care volunteers find work rewarding

Bill Brunstad was interested in becoming a hospice volunteer for years. He read a book about the highs and lows of working on the front lines. He even took a class offered by HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital’s Hospice team. But seeing his friend Jim Dimock in the grocery store gave him added incentive. Dimock told

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