Six studies demonstrated cost savings through Advance Care Planning (ACP) while strengthening patient autonomy and improving quality of care near the end of life
19 May 2016
Study by Corinna Klingler, Jürgen in der Schmitten and Georg Marckmann indicates :
Facilitated ACP has the potential to reduce net costs of care.
The impact on costs of care may depend on the details of the ACP programme.
To protect end-of-life discussions from undue influences of cost considerations, adequate training of facilitators, clearly defined ACP standards and transparency concerning programme objectives and conflicts of interest should be ensured.
Implications for practice, theory or policy
Policy makers might consider investment in professionally facilitated ACP a good use of scarce healthcare resources if safeguards guarantee the openness of the planning process.
Methodologically robust trials are needed to determine which ACP elements are decisive for improving clinical outcomes and potentially reducing healthcare expenditures in accordance with patients’ preferences.
In Belgium, the PICT tool (Palliative Care Indicator Tool) recently developed by Prof. M. Desmedt and his research team, with the support of the Federal Public Service Health and the three Belgian palliative care federations will :
Identify the palliative patient and perform an earlier ACP.
Define three statuses depending on the severity of needs and adapt accordingly remedial measures.