“It is about living throughout our final chapters of life.”

Dr. Tim Ihrig

Episode 42: Dr. Tim Ihrig, Palliative Care Physician

Dr. Tim Ihrig provides palliative care to some of the most seriously ill people around the world. He also has another mission: to transform the culture of medicine to become a true patient-centered model of care that has value for both the provider and the patient.

“Dr. Tim” is known internationally for applying his clinical and administrative experiences to system design around population health management, care coordination and care delivery for those facing a serious illness. This model of palliative care is unlike transitional healthcare and other palliative care programs. The support to patients is delivered from diagnosis and continues throughout their full length of care. This model embraces living with a serious illness versus repetitive activities that fail to achieve high quality outcomes. Dr. Tim engages the patient with honest explanations of treatment results so the patient can make the best choice for how they want to live out their final years, months and days.

He has achieved many successes with this model that not only benefit the patient and the provider, but the healthcare model as well:

  • Nearly 94% zero hospital admissions for live outpatient palliative care patients
  • 40% reduction in 30-day readmissions to the hospital
  • 70% per-capita reduction in expenditures estimated on pre- and post-palliative care involvement over comparative 12-month periods
  • High patient satisfaction with care model
  • Decrease in symptom burden
  • Decrease in acute hospitalization days

So why is this proven model not being implemented across the United States?