Compassus COO Corina Tracy and Epharmix CEO Blake Marggraff Discuss the Importance of End-of-Life Conversations with Business of Healthcare

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Business of Healthcare, an interview series hosted by Matthew Hanis, spoke with industry experts Corina Tracy, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Compassus, and Blake Marggraff, founder and chief executive officer of Epharmix, on the importance of end-of-life conversations in its latest interview titled “The Conversation: Predicting Hospice.”


Hospice care, although proven to reduce suffering and costs for patients at the end of life, is often only initiated in the last seven days of life although the benefit extends to the last six months of life. In the interview, Hanis asks, ‘Why do clinicians delay the conversations leading to earlier initiation?”


“The biggest barrier to end-of-life care is being more mainstream,” Tracy says. She adds that for physicians and other providers, “It’s a high-risk conversation…you’re not sure how the patient’s going to respond.”


Tracy, who began her career as a hospice nurse and has served patients at end-of-life for more than 25 years, emphasizes how hospice care improves the quality of life for patients and their families. “I learned very quickly hospice makes things so much better. I often would leave somebody’s house and think to myself, ‘What would they do right now if they didn’t have hospice care?’”


Marggraff, whose Epharmix platform has been proven in clinical trials to engage even the most complex patients for more than a year, argues predictive analytics and advanced engagement methods could help with earlier transitions to hospice.


“I take an evidence-based approach to product development. It doesn’t feel safe to innovate in the face of lots of risk, and unlike pharmaceuticals and medical devices, a lot of technology out there hasn’t been shown to really drive value,” reports Marggraff. “Epharmix helps make the decision to transition a little bit more comfortable.”


His firm helps thousands of individuals self-report their health status to their physician or health system on a daily or weekly basis. The results are proven savings, happier patients and more productive care managers. The company is exploring incorporating end-of-life care and hospice into the platform.


To view the full interview, please visit or watch the video below.