Andrew E. Esch, MD, MBA

Andrew Esch is a palliative specialist and consultant focusing on improving the quality of life for patients and their families—through pain and symptom management, coordination of care, and education—as they face serious or life-threatening illness. Dr. Esch earned his medical degree from the University of Buffalo, where he also earned a combined bachelor of science and master of business administration degree. Currently he is a consultant and faculty member for the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC). Prior to joining CAPC, Dr. Esch worked at the Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, Florida, as medical director of palliative care. During his time there he was recognized with the prestigious Phoenix Award for his work with people with cancer. Dr. Esch speaks nationally on palliative care education and growth and sustainability of palliative care programs.

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Upcoming Events

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Marketing to Increase Referrals

Thursday, October 1 at noon ET
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Hospital Palliative Care Program Design 101

Friday, October 2 at 1 p.m. ET
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Improving Team Effectiveness

Wednesday, October 14 at 2 p.m. ET
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From the Blog

Palliative Care Models

3 Strategies for Increasing Referrals

Updated March 4, 2019


Available to non-members
An In-Depth Look At Palliative Care And Its Services

Defining palliative care, which patients need it, how it is delivered, and how palliative care differs from hospice.

Course 1: Comprehensive Pain Assessment

Conducting a comprehensive pain assessment to guide safe and effective treatment.

Course 2: Matching the Drug Class to the Pain

Selecting a safe and appropriate analgesic for patients with serious illness based on the pain assessment.

Course 3: Patient Factors that Influence Prescribing Decisions

Patient and family factors that influence prescribing decisions for patients with serious illness.

Course 4: Assessing Risk for Opioid Substance Use Disorder

Integrating routine risk assessment for substance use disorder when considering or using opioid therapy.

Course 5: Opioid Trials: Determining Design, Efficacy, and Safety

Designing a safe and effective opioid trial for the patient with serious illness.

Available to non-members
Course 6: Prescribing An Opioid

Safe and appropriate opioid prescribing for the opioid-naive patient with serious illness.

Course 7: Prescribing Short-Acting Opioids: Four Case Studies

Four indications for using short-acting opioids.

Course 8: Monitoring for Opioid Efficacy, Side Effects, and Substance Use Disorder

Ongoing evaluation of opioid benefits, risks, and side effects for the patient with serious illness.

Course 9: Converting from Short-Acting to Long-Acting Opioids

Guidance on safe conversion to long-acting opioids for patients with serious illness.

Course 10: Prescribing Practice and Opioid Conversions

Prescribing practice for long half-life opioids, converting from one opioid to another, and accounting for incomplete cross-tolerance.

Course 11: Advanced Conversions and Opioid Side Effects

Changing the route of opioid delivery, rotating opioids, advanced opioid conversions, and tapering opioids.

Course 12: Special Populations And Patient-Controlled Analgesia

Safe opioid prescribing in older adults, cognitively impaired patients, children, and the imminently dying, including patient-controlled analgesia.

Course 13: Managing Pain in Patients At Risk for Substance Use Disorder

Pain management for patients with serious illness and high risk for substance use disorder, including risk assessment, monitoring, and when to refer for safe pain management.

Course 14: Pain Management: Putting it All Together

Safe opioid prescribing for patients with serious illness, using the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) Guidelines for the Chronic Use of Opioid Analgesics.

Available to non-members
Nausea and Vomiting

Identifying and managing nausea and vomiting for patients living with serious illness and their caregivers.

Available to non-members

Reducing physical and emotional suffering from dyspnea for patients with serious illness.

Available to non-members

Assessing and managing constipation in people with serious illness.

Available to non-members

Prevalence, screening recommendations, and evidence-based strategies to treat anxiety in patients with serious illness.

Available to non-members

Prevalence, screening recommendations, and evidence-based strategies to treat depression in patients with serious illness.

Dementia: Relieving Suffering for Patients and Families

Identifying and addressing the sources of suffering for patients and families living with dementia.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Assessing and addressing sources of suffering for people living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and their caregivers.

Heart Failure

Interventions to reduce suffering along the disease trajectory for people living with congestive heart failure (CHF) and their families.

Communicating with Treating Clinicians: How Medical Directors Can Support Best Care for the Seriously Ill

Guidance for collaborating with treating providers to ensure that members who would benefit receive palliative care.

Care Management for Seriously Ill Patients: Addressing Gaps in Care

Communication and assessment techniques for case managers to elicit goals of care and address suffering for people with serious illness.

A Palliative Approach to Care for Direct Care Workers

The role of the direct care worker in observing and reporting suffering in patients with serious illness.

Improving Team Performance

Strategic planning for new or veteran programs, and a framework for identification of barriers to team efficiency and team health.