Between 1997 and 1998, the Education Development Center, a nonprofit research and development organization in Newton, Mass., convened the interdisciplinary National Task Force on End-of-Life Care in Managed Care.
The purpose of this project was to encourage better terminal and palliative care for the growing number of Medicare, Medicaid and commercial beneficiaries being served by managed care organizations.
The task force brought together 23 experts in health care policy, managed care, geriatrics, long-term care, bioethics, palliative care, medicine and nursing, and hospice. It was the first time such a disparate group had been brought together to focus on end-of-life care.
The task force recommendations and a series of specific action steps were published in an 85-page report entitled Meeting the Challenge: Twelve Recommendations for Improving End-of-Life Care in Managed Care.
The recommendations and action steps focused on three areas:
Providing of managed care insurance products that cover humane and effective end-of-life care for patients and families.
Focusing of continuous quality improvement efforts on end-of-life care.
Testing of new methods for aligning financial incentives with the provision of humane and effective care.