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Medi-Cal hospice benefit should stay

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Posted: Friday, January 17, 2003 10:00 pm

What could be worse than dying? Dying in pain - dying alone - dying without hospice care.

That's what will happen to more than 20,000 Californians next year if the Medi-Cal hospice benefit is eliminated as Gov. Gray Davis has suggested in his proposed budget.

"I am sad and dismayed that Gov. Davis would consider eliminating hospices services for terminally ill Medi-Cal patients. Hospice provides expert pain and symptom management and compassionate support for those facing a life-threatening illness," said Laura Miller, president of the California Hospice and Palliative Care Association. "In addition, hospice saves the state money. Research shows that California will have to pay about $11 million a year more that the cost of hospice services because - without hospice to care for them at home - these patients will be cared for and die in more expensive hospital emergency rooms, inpatient facilities and intensive care units."

In the coming weeks and months, CHAPCA will be working with legislators and the governor's office to provide the facts about the cost of quality end-of-life care and the potential savings benefits.

The California Hospice and Palliative Care Association is a nonprofit organization that advocates for those facing life-threatening illnesses by promoting the availability of and access to quality end-of-life care.

Margaret Clausen

Executive Director



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