In case you missed it, The Washington Post
recently put a spotlight
on local palliative care company ResolutionCare
’s story, which published Dec. 15, uses the story of Hoopa brothers-in-law Gordon Surber and Mark Hailey — both of whom have been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease — to explore the impact of palliative care and the inequities of how insurers cover the costs. The story notes that while Congress has mandated that insurers provide coverage for hospice care, they have not taken similar steps for palliative care.
“Like hospice, palliative care includes a physician’s help in managing pain and other symptoms, the services of a social worker and a home health nurse, and spiritual counseling,” the article states. “Unlike hospice, it can be provided at any stage of illness and it can be offered alongside curative care.”
Hailey has access to palliative care through MediCal thanks to Senate Bill 1004, which mandates that the state provide in-home palliative care to MediCal recipients. Surber, meanwhile, is insured through a combination of Medicare and a policy through his wife, neither of which cover palliative care, limiting him to more traditional treatment options. The article details how Surber’s health and quality of life have sputtered, while Hailey has seen marked improvements.
story quotes ResultionCare founder and palliative care doctor Michael Fratkin lamenting the inequity of the situation, noting his company could do a lot to care for Surber and help his wife.
“I can think of 20 simple things we could do to help them enjoy each other and take the pressure off Judy, instead of her having to watch a slow-moving train wreck,” he said.
The full story is well worth a read and can be found here
. (Also, hat tip to local photographer Justin Maxon for his work on the project.) And for more on Fratkin and ResolutionCare, see past Journal