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Medical News and Perspectives |

Hospital Palliative Care Programs Raise Grade to B in New Report Card on Access

Rebecca Voelker
JAMA. 2011;306(21):2313-2314. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1739.
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A recent survey that graded the 50 states on access to palliative care bumped the United States up a grade, to a B from a C in 2008. Despite the rapid growth of hospital-based palliative care programs, the survey nonetheless reports ongoing barriers to access: too few trained professionals, knowledge gaps in symptom relief, and the need for new reimbursement models.

The 2011 survey, carried out by the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) and the National Palliative Care Research Center (NPCRC) at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, both in New York City, examined data taken primarily from the American Hospital Association Annual Survey Database for 2009. Of the 2489 hospitals with 50 or more beds surveyed, 63% had palliative care programs. Of hospitals with more than 300 beds, 85% had palliative care teams (http://www.capc.org/reportcard/).

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Since 2000, the prevalence of palliative care teams in US hospitals with at least 50 beds has increased by 138%, according to a recent survey that gave the United States a B grade in access to palliative care.



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