While many patients, their families and clinicians are becoming more accepting of palliative care and related end-of-life choices, significant barriers still exist to integrating a cogent, holistic approach into the conventional, well-established standard of care. Issues with reimbursement, eligibility, logistics, communications, accreditation, coordination and the will to have the conversation all lead to a sub-par care solution that almost seems too business-like and less compassionate.

To address this, Zen Hospice Project (ZHP), a San Francisco-based residential hospice and locally prominent player in the contemplative care space, forged a creative working model with a major hospital system. Addressing the knowledge gap, financial issues and inadequate training, ZHP developed a new pathway by which to assist other organizations in achieving successful, sustainable and practical models in end-of-life care.

In this Executive Insights, L.E.K. describes ZHP’s collaboration with this major hospital system to address the significant structural and cultural challenges of end-of-life care in the U.S. healthcare system.

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