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End of Life Care Part II: Drawing a Line

End of Life Care Part II Drawing a LineEnd of Life Care Part II: Drawing a Line

The Journal of Palliative Medicine recently published a survey of nearly 700 physician-members of a national hospice and palliative medicine organization. More than half of the survey respondents in the past five years had experienced a physician or health care professional referring to palliative care treatments as “euthanasia,” “killing” or “murder.”

The issue isn’t so much debating the nuances of palliative care versus aggressive treatments. Rather, it is a highlight of the difficulties that physicians can personally face when they devise treatment plans for their patients.

Terminally ill patients aren’t always given the choice. A national insurance company conducted an experiment in late 2004. The let a group of policyholders with a life expectancy of less than a year receive hospice services without forgoing other treatments- they didn’t have to choose between two treatment plans but could use both services as needed. So a patient with congestive heart failure could continue their hospital treatment but also have a hospice team at home focusing on easing their pain and providing the best quality of life. Enrolled patients were much more likely to choose the palliative care option- the figure increased from 26% to 70%. The also visited the emergency room almost as half as often as the control patients did, and the use of hospices and I.C.U.s dropped by more than two-thirds.

The survey indicates that residents with a terminal illness or only a few months left to live may, when they understand their diagnosis, choose palliative care options than aggressive treatments. Yet the blaring increase also shows a distinct miscommunication when it comes to patients’ needs. Part could be language barriers, as we discussed in a post last week. Part could be family members unwilling to “give up” on treatment options for their loved ones. Part could be physicians unwilling to accept the results, wanting to exhaust every possible option. And, part could be the patient’s own unwillingness to accept their difficult diagnosis.

The bottom line is the discussion of end-of-life care has to be had. The studies show too many discrepancies and too many instances where a patient’s end-of-life care may not be exactly what they want.

There is a movement in nursing homes that focus less around providing just physical care to residents and instead focusing on their quality of life. K&B Underwriters is well positioned and experienced to help nursing homes and other senior living facilities in their mission to elevate their standard of care through our DigniCARE insurance program and values-based risk management approach. We provide proactive support, tools and programs that put the wellbeing of the residents first and engage staff throughout the entire organization. (855) 883-6306

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    Peachtree Special Risk Brokers

  • "Thank you K&B for your DigniCARE product. Our firm works with a variety of senior living facilities and we consider the DigniCARE Program to be one of the best in the industry. Your team delivers professional and friendly service to your policyholders and your agency partners. You are a rock... "

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    McGowan Private Client Group

  • "The staff at K&B understood everything. In fact, I almost felt that they knew what I needed before I asked. K&B got things accomplished in such a short time frame! We sent a new submission on a large account and got quotes back in less than 8 days! I wouldn’t... "

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    Bowersox Insurance Agency

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    Expert Underwriters, Inc

  • "We rely on the experience of K&B that we may not get by going straight to the company. I believe this relationship is an important and necessary one in dealing with the insurance underwriters. Actually, K&B was the only brokerage we went through. It was all or nothing! Our deadlines... "

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    The Colony Group, CIC

  • "The staff at K&B was instrumental in helping me! I had a policy that needed to be written at the 11th hour and with your staff at K&B, we wrote the policy. We have other policies coming up in the future and K&B is the trustworthy choice for us.... "

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    Talbot/Hub Agency

  • "It’s the staff at K&B that I want to work with – you’re the ones who know what you’re doing!! K&B is straightforward in working with me and can tell me ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to my questions right away, which is great and what I need! The flow with K&B... "

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    MD Kram Insurance Brokerage

  • "Your staff is persistent. Since I’m persistent too, I like that! K&B’s service is great because of the small things. A big thing we contend with is having an underwriter simply pick up the phone to take a call from us. Your staff will do that and it means a... "

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    Nixon & Lindstrom Insurance

 
Kbunderwriters
Kbunderwriters
  • "K&B has a model that backs up their binders with services that help providers care for residents. They understand the business, including the challenge of reimbursement reductions enabling them to engage best-in-class service providers… This level of knowledge and responsiveness really helps agents ‘brand’ themselves.... "

    Erik Halvorsen
    Peachtree Special Risk Brokers

  • "Thank you K&B for your DigniCARE product. Our firm works with a variety of senior living facilities and we consider the DigniCARE Program to be one of the best in the industry. Your team delivers professional and friendly service to your policyholders and your agency partners. You are a rock... "

    Pam Muzzilla
    McGowan Private Client Group

  • "The staff at K&B understood everything. In fact, I almost felt that they knew what I needed before I asked. K&B got things accomplished in such a short time frame! We sent a new submission on a large account and got quotes back in less than 8 days! I wouldn’t... "

    Vickie Fortner
    Bowersox Insurance Agency

  • "I could have gone to the same carrier through a different broker, but I liked the staff at K&B and liked working with them. K&B wanted the business, were aggressive, and turned it around very quickly. I am very pleased with the work... "

    Robin Walker
    Expert Underwriters, Inc

  • "We rely on the experience of K&B that we may not get by going straight to the company. I believe this relationship is an important and necessary one in dealing with the insurance underwriters. Actually, K&B was the only brokerage we went through. It was all or nothing! Our deadlines... "

    Barry Layman
    The Colony Group, CIC

  • "The staff at K&B was instrumental in helping me! I had a policy that needed to be written at the 11th hour and with your staff at K&B, we wrote the policy. We have other policies coming up in the future and K&B is the trustworthy choice for us.... "

    Mark Kuhr
    Talbot/Hub Agency

  • "It’s the staff at K&B that I want to work with – you’re the ones who know what you’re doing!! K&B is straightforward in working with me and can tell me ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to my questions right away, which is great and what I need! The flow with K&B... "

    Mike Kram
    MD Kram Insurance Brokerage

  • "Your staff is persistent. Since I’m persistent too, I like that! K&B’s service is great because of the small things. A big thing we contend with is having an underwriter simply pick up the phone to take a call from us. Your staff will do that and it means a... "

    Sean Crayton
    Nixon & Lindstrom Insurance

 
Kbunderwriters
Kbunderwriters
  • "K&B has a model that backs up their binders with services that help providers care for residents. They understand the business, including the challenge of reimbursement reductions enabling them to engage best-in-class service providers… This level of knowledge and responsiveness really helps agents ‘brand’ themselves.... "

    Erik Halvorsen
    Peachtree Special Risk Brokers

  • "Thank you K&B for your DigniCARE product. Our firm works with a variety of senior living facilities and we consider the DigniCARE Program to be one of the best in the industry. Your team delivers professional and friendly service to your policyholders and your agency partners. You are a rock... "

    Pam Muzzilla
    McGowan Private Client Group

  • "The staff at K&B understood everything. In fact, I almost felt that they knew what I needed before I asked. K&B got things accomplished in such a short time frame! We sent a new submission on a large account and got quotes back in less than 8 days! I wouldn’t... "

    Vickie Fortner
    Bowersox Insurance Agency

  • "I could have gone to the same carrier through a different broker, but I liked the staff at K&B and liked working with them. K&B wanted the business, were aggressive, and turned it around very quickly. I am very pleased with the work... "

    Robin Walker
    Expert Underwriters, Inc

  • "We rely on the experience of K&B that we may not get by going straight to the company. I believe this relationship is an important and necessary one in dealing with the insurance underwriters. Actually, K&B was the only brokerage we went through. It was all or nothing! Our deadlines... "

    Barry Layman
    The Colony Group, CIC

  • "The staff at K&B was instrumental in helping me! I had a policy that needed to be written at the 11th hour and with your staff at K&B, we wrote the policy. We have other policies coming up in the future and K&B is the trustworthy choice for us.... "

    Mark Kuhr
    Talbot/Hub Agency

  • "It’s the staff at K&B that I want to work with – you’re the ones who know what you’re doing!! K&B is straightforward in working with me and can tell me ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to my questions right away, which is great and what I need! The flow with K&B... "

    Mike Kram
    MD Kram Insurance Brokerage

  • "Your staff is persistent. Since I’m persistent too, I like that! K&B’s service is great because of the small things. A big thing we contend with is having an underwriter simply pick up the phone to take a call from us. Your staff will do that and it means a... "

    Sean Crayton
    Nixon & Lindstrom Insurance