Standardizing Home-Based Palliative Care: Necessary, Doable, and Fruitful

How palliative care clinicians and payers in California worked together to reduce unwanted variation and confusion in home-based palliative care

When health plans and palliative care clinicians come together about contracting, progress can be slow before things even get started. It can take months of discussion just to come to an agreement on what home-based palliative care (HBPC) is — including basic things such as what services are included. And what worked for one plan/provider agreement may not work for the next one, which means starting the negotiation cycle from scratch each time.

Six years ago, some payers and providers in California realized there had to be a better way and asked one another, “Why don’t we just agree on what the basic, minimal standards for HBPC are, so we can move more quickly to actually meet the needs in our communities?” With leadership from the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California (CCCC), that is exactly what they did.

In partnership with Blue Shield of California, CCCC convened representatives from California health plans, palliative care providers, policy advocates, researchers, and other stakeholders in 2016. Their charge was to establish minimum standards to inform contracting for HBPC, no matter the payer. The goal was to clarify for everyone — including patients and families — what could be expected when we say, “Yes, we have a home-based palliative care team.”

Read the entire article at the Center to Advance Palliative Care website.

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