As Obamacare Grows, Hospice Industry Launches Million-Dollar End of Life Ad Campaign

Obamacare was sold to the American people as a way to "save money" on healthcare.

Now that the President's healthcare plan is well underway, the hospice industry is ready to launch a multi-million dollar ad campaign to sell its end-of-life and hospice programs in anticipation of more Americans needing such care as cuts in medical services to the elderly come into effect.

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) is planning a year-long ad campaign for 2014 starting this month, Forbes reports. The organization wants to start a "national conversation on the value of hospice and palliative care."

The ad blitz comes on the 40th anniversary of the advent of the hospice industry in the US. Medicare began covering hospice care starting some two decades after it began, and with the onset of Obamacare, the industry wants to assert its position for offering palliative care, otherwise known as end-of-life care.

The group plans to publish "real-life stories" about its services. "By documenting and sharing real-life stories in an honest, emotionally candid way, we hope to encourage families to consider or seek out a hospice or palliative care provider three to six months before the end of life, not in the final days," said NHPCO’s senior vice president of strategic communications Anita Brikman.

Forbes also reported the "stake" the hospice industry has in Obamacare:

The hospice industry has a financial stake in the campaign’s success, particularly as more Americans get medical care coverage this year under the Affordable Care Act and a population of baby boomers ages. For example, more and more medical care providers are incorporating end-of-life care into accountable care organizations (ACOs), which are contracting with Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers to achieve better outcomes.

More than 5.3 million Medicare beneficiaries will be receiving care from these ACOs, according to an announcement last month by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which runs the Medicare program.

In 2009 President Obama famously noted that, with his healthcare policies, sometimes elderly people will be "better off not having the surgery, but taking painkillers."

With the President's advice ringing down to us through the intervening years, the NHPCO stands ready to answer the President's call. When the end comes, she said, "People want to be, as much as possible, at home... pain free and surrounded by family and friends."


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