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    Barbara Bush's death in my home state of Texas brought tears to my eyes, but her decision to opt for comfort care at the end of life is a great educational moment for us all. Although her family did not specify the cause of death of our former first lady, we know she suffered from congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as my mother did. My father, a non-smoker, suffered from emphysema, congestive heart failure and diabetes.

    Throughout their lives, my parents made three words clear: "If we become too ill and there is no longer a cure for us: Do not resuscitate."

    Little did we know years later both would develop pulmonary diseases that would require tubes forced down their throats to feed air into their fluid-filled lungs.

    More than six years have passed since the death of my parents, Victor and Socorro González, in my hometown in Brownsville. After a series of repeated hospitalizations, as my parents health care proxies, my siblings and I declined further medical treatment for them. Instead, we opted for comfort care, just as Bush did, that should have allowed doctors to minimize mom's and dad's suffering, so they could die as comfortably and peacefully as possible. Unfortunately, that is not what happened in my dad's case.

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    5 hours ago
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    Airline sued after woman who suffered midflight emergency dies

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    A Word From Our Sponsors

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    Humana (NYSE: HUM) will provide compensation for improvement in quality metrics such as hospital-associated infection rates, care coordination and palliative care. These areas are intended to produce improvements in a patient's health outcomes, safety and experience.

    Humana will measure participating hospitals' performance by using metrics from two certification programs developed by The Joint Commission, the nation's oldest health care accreditation agency. Participating hospitals will need to receive the Integrated Care Certification and Palliative Care Coordination Certification from The Joint Commission.

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    The release did not specify how much the hospitals would be paid or the timeframe for improvements for hospitals.

    The incentive program furthers Humana's goal moving to a value-based model for care and payment for the members of its health plans. Many health plans, including Humana's, are moving to models that focus on paying for good patient health outcomes, rather than simply paying fees for services provided.

    Ensuring care integration and coordination across the health care spectrum for its plan members also has been a major focus for Humana.

    The company recently announced that it would partner with Landmark Health LLC, a Huntington Beach, Calif.-based home-based medical care company, to provide in-home behavioral and palliative care coordination to Humana's Medicare Advantage members with complex health needs related to chronic illness in several states.