Cover: Concurrent Hospice and Dialysis Care

Concurrent Hospice and Dialysis Care

Considerations for Implementation

Published in: Journal of General Internal Medicine (2023). doi: 10.1007/s11606-023-08504-w

Posted on rand.org Nov 17, 2023

by Natalie C. Ernecoff, Mayumi T. Robinson, Erica M. Motter, Alexandra E. Bursic, Keith Lagnese, Robert Taylor, Dale E. Lupu, Jane O. Schell

Importance

Hospice positively impacts care at the end of life for patients and their families. However, compared to the general Medicare population, patients on dialysis are half as likely to receive hospice. Concurrent hospice and dialysis care offers an opportunity to improve care for people living with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD).

Objective

We sought to (1) develop a conceptual model of the Program and (2) identify key components, resources, and considerations for further implementation.

Design

We conducted a template analysis of qualitative interviews and convened a community advisory panel (CAP) to get feedback on current concurrent care design and considerations for dissemination and implementation. Participants: Thirty-nine patients with late-stage chronic kidney disease (CKD), family caregivers, bereaved family caregivers, hospice clinicians, nephrology clinicians, administrators, and policy experts participated in interviews. A purposive subset of 19 interviewees composed the CAP.

Main Measures

Qualitative feedback on concurrent care design refinements, implementation, and resources.

Key Results

Participants identified four themes that define an effective model of concurrent hospice and dialysis: it requires (1) timely goals-of-care conversations and (2) an interdisciplinary approach; (3) clear guidelines ensure smooth transitions for patients and families; and (4) hospice payment policy must support concurrent care. CAP participants provided feedback on the phases of an effective model of concurrent hospice and dialysis, and resources, including written and interactive educational materials, communication tools, workflow processes, and order sets.

Conclusions

We developed a conceptual model for concurrent hospice and dialysis care and a corresponding resource list. In addition to policy changes, clinical implementation and educational resources can facilitate scalable and equitable dissemination of concurrent care. Concurrent hospice and dialysis care must be systematically evaluated via a hybrid implementation-effectiveness trial that includes the resources outlined herein, based on our conceptual model of concurrent care delivery.

Research conducted by

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