A New Reason to Call Hawaii Paradise

A New Reason to Call Hawaii Paradise

I am so happy to learn that Hawaii now covers palliative care through its Medicaid program! This will do so much to narrow or close the gap in care between home health and hospice care for seriously ill people in Hawaii. 
Governor Josh Green, MD, describes palliative care in his announcement that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved a new State Plan Amendment (SPA) to cover community palliative care services through Medicaid, making Hawaiʻi the first state in the nation to do so:
Palliative care is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness. This type of care is focused on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of the illness, with a goal of improving quality of life for both the patient and the family. 


“After several years of hard work and collaboration with many community members and experts in the field, I am proud to announce that Med-QUEST is the first Medicaid program in the country to get this benefit approved,” said Governor Green. “This will greatly improve the quality of life and health outcomes for thousands of people who face serious medical conditions in our state. Hawaiʻi continues to lead the nation in innovations in health and health care.” 

I hope and pray other states will follow suit, not only because it's the right thing to do, as I believe access to excellent, affordable health care is a human right, but also because covering palliative care in the home and community is LESS EXPENSIVE THAN NOT COVERING IT! 
Then, I'd like to see Medicare jump on the bandwagon, too.
Take care.

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