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Cutting costs with better care for advanced illness

The Wall Street Journal, March 20, 2012

A better approach to advanced illness, including fewer hospitalizations, could improve quality of life and satisfaction for the sickest patients—and save $25 billion in annual health-care costs, according to Gundersen Health System. The La Crosse, Wisc.-based system is part of the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care, which aims to get more health systems to adopt programs such as caring for terminally ill patients at home instead of in hospitals. Gundersen's Respecting Choices program is hailed as a model by the coalition, which includes healthcare providers, medical societies and patient-advocacy groups.