Patients at the end of life (EOL) do not get adequate hospice benefits because of delayed enrollment for hospice services. The reason for not enrolling earlier is that many hospice services do not provide blood transfusions to hospice patients. Blood transfusions, in this setting, are considered disease-modifying treatments. Furthermore, many hospices do not provide outpatient transfusions because of inadequate reimbursement by Medicare and logistical challenges in delivering blood to patients' homes.Blood transfusions can improve this population's symptoms, such as lethargy and mucosal bleeding. Studies in hematology-oncology journals have shown that it improves a patient's quality of life despite a poor prognosis. Furthermore, the incidence of transfusion reactions is low, even when it is provided in an outpatient setting. The purpose of this presentation is to highlight the need for outpatient blood transfusions for hospice patients and to review the challenges faced by hospice patients in accessing this life-enhancing treatment in the current Medicare reimbursement environment. Furthermore, blood transfusions in this setting can be an additional revenue stream for blood centers. In this session, we will discuss how the audience can incorporate the provision of blood products to hospices as transfusion service facilities and the utilization of blood center nurses to provide transfusions in outpatient settings.
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AM23-SN-13-O: Hope in Blood: Outpatient Transfusions in the Hospice Patient Population (Enduring) Evaluation