Palliative Care Fees

Year
2010
Category
Health
NCLGA Ref#
B16
UBCM Ref#
B113
NCLGA Rating
Honourable Mention

Status

Endorsed by the NCLGA and UBCM Memberships

Details

WHEREAS the medical health care coverage covers the cost of fees for palliative care within acute care facilities but not within residential care facilities;

AND WHEREAS many palliative care patients are serviced through residential care facilities due, in part, to the limited availability of palliative care beds within acute care facilities and are then burdened by the inequity of being billed for costs associated with palliative care that other families experiencing the same traumatic circumstances are not required to bear:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the NCLGA and the UBCM lobby the Provincial Government to ensure that the costs of palliative care are the same in residential care facilities as they are in acute facilities.

Additional Information

UBCM comments:

The UBCM membership has not previously considered a resolution calling on the provincial government to ensure that costs of palliative care are the same in residential care facilities as they are in acute facilities.

However, members endorsed resolution 1996-B96, which requested that the provincial government provide adequate funding to ensure that hospice / palliative care would be available in all communities.

Background Information

Issue:

With British Columbia’s aging population and statistics showing that in the next ten years the rate of dependency for the elderly will surpass children, the province has a greater need than ever to provide support and care for people requiring end-of-life services.

While initiatives have been developed such as the BC Provincial Framework for End of Life Care, the federal Compassionate Care Benefit, and the palliative Pharmacare program, there is still an urgent need to establish a definition of palliative care and determine when a patient can access those services.

In addition to these inadequacies, end-of-life patients who are admitted to residential care facilities are burdened with an additional charge for requiring palliative care. Currently our health care system does not recognize or cover palliative care as a billable item. As a result palliative care patients are frequently required to live their final days in residential care facilities rather than specialized palliative acute care units while families and friends are not only burdened by the traumatic situation but also with what can be exorbitant charges.

Currently, throughout the province, there is a per diem fee for palliative care in residential care facilities located away from acute care facilities. However, there is no per diem cost for palliative care located within acute care facilities.

Action:

The Cariboo Regional District is requesting the North Central Local Government Association to lobby the Provincial Government to ensure that the costs of palliative care are the same in residential care facilities as they are in acute facilities. As an interim measure, we respectfully request the Province to eliminate the costs associated with palliative care in residential care units which are incurred primarily because families have no alternative to properly care for loved ones facing end of life.