Dec 21, 2013 • 21M

Life (and Death) as a Hospice Physician: A Conversation with Bruce Doblin (December 20th)

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Appears in this episode

David Introcaso, Ph.D.
Podcast interviews with health policy experts on timely subjects. The Healthcare Policy Podcast website features audio interviews with healthcare policy experts on timely topics. An online public forum routinely presenting expert healthcare policy analysis and comment is lacking. While other healthcare policy website programming exists, these typically present vested interest viewpoints or do not combine informed policy analysis with political insight or acumen. Since healthcare policy issues are typically complex, clear, reasoned, dispassionate discussion is required. These podcasts will attempt to fill this void. Among other topics this podcast will address: Implementation of the Affordable Care Act Other federal Medicare and state Medicaid health care issues Federal health care regulatory oversight, moreover CMS and the FDA Healthcare research Private sector healthcare delivery reforms including access, reimbursement and quality issues Public health issues including the social determinants of health Listeners are welcomed to share their program comments and suggest programming ideas. Comments made by the interviewees are strictly their own and do not represent those of their affiliated organization/s.
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Of the two and a half million Americans that die annually, less than half, or 45%, die under hospice care. About one-third of these deaths are cancer related the remainder are moreover from heart and lung disease and dementia.  Of the over 5,000 hospice providers nearly two-thirds are for profit.  Over 80% of all hospice care is paid for by Medicare.  While hospice care is ever-increasingly becoming accepted by the public, the program's benefits are compromised largely due to the fact that over one-third of hospice enrolled decedents were enrolled in the program for too short a period of time, or less than seven days.  

During this 21 minute podcast, Dr. Doblin discusses why he became a hospice physician, what makes for good hospice care, why the benefit remains under-utilized, what constitutes a "good death," how might hospice and palliative care be improved and how these services might better fit  in ever-evolving changes in the health care industry.     

Dr. Bruce H. Doblin is currently a Physician in the Department of Internal Medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.  He also serves as an Instructor of Clinical Medicine-Internal Medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.  Previously, Dr. Doblin served for over ten years as the Medical Director for Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care in Chicago.  Dr. Doblin earned his BA in Economics at Williams College and his MD and Masters in Public Health from Northwestern University.  He completed fellowship training at UCLA in health services research and at the University of Chicago in Clinical Medical Ethics.