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Palliative Care and Healthcare Utilization


Genevieve Kumapley, PharmD, BCOP, discusses the importance of introducing palliative care to patients at the time of diagnosis. Specifically, she describes how a multidisciplinary team approach can affect the utilization of healthcare resources. If such an approach is taken early, there is significant potential for cost savings, she suggests.

Addressing palliative care early on, and in a multidisciplinary manner, helps all stakeholders understand the goals and preferences of the patient. As part of the team approach, members of a patient’s palliative care team discuss with the patient what tests and/or treatments will or will not be beneficial, says Dr Kumapley. By having these discussions and taking into account the patient’s preferences, the patient’s palliative care team can potentially decrease the overuse of healthcare resources, which may result in cost savings.

As a pharmacist, Dr Kumapley discusses the pharmacist’s role in palliative care. Pharmacists have the opportunity to improve patient adherence by helping patients recognize adverse events and understand how to properly manage them, she says.

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