2019 CAPC Palliative Care Report Card

09/26/19 at 12:35 PM by Cordt Kassner

CAPC just released their new annual state-by-state report card on access to palliative care: https://reportcard.capc.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/CAPC_ReportCard19-Digital_9_19.pdf.


10/1/19 HNN Summary:


 A new report card on the nation’s palliative care shows that “access to palliative care continues to depend more upon accidents of geography than it does upon the needs of patients living with a serious illness and their families,” according to a PR Newswire release. The report “America's Care of Serious Illness: 2019 State-by-State Report Card on Access to Palliative Care in Our Nation's Hospitals” was conducted by the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) and National Palliative Care Research Center (NPCRC).

The numbers in the report show an overall increase in available palliative services: “72 percent of U.S. hospitals with fifty or more beds report a palliative care team today. This is up from 67 percent in 2015, 53 percent in 2008, and 7 percent in 2001.” And, 87% of all hospitalized patients in the U.S. are served by these hospitals that offer palliative care.

PR Newswire summarizes several other key findings from the report. “Three quarters of states now have a grade of A or B,” meaning the number of states with A grades for palliative care coverage “increased to 21, up from 17 in 2015, and 3 in 2008.” Additionally, “Four states (Delaware, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont) show palliative care teams in all of their hospitals with fifty or more beds.” Further, “Four additional states (Connecticut, the Dakotas, and Utah) and the District of Columbia are one hospital shy of 100 percent penetration.” The lowest performing states (Mississippi, Alabama, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Wyoming) showed less than 40% of hospitals having palliative care. And, “For-profit hospitals of any size are less likely to provide palliative care than nonprofit hospitals.”

Palliative care remains more accessible in urban areas, with large nonprofit hospitals being the most likely to provide palliative care.Access to palliative care for people living in rural America remains limited. Ninety percent of hospitals with palliative care are in urban areas. Only 17 percent of rural hospitals with fifty or more beds report palliative care program. Diane E. Meier, MD, director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care and co-author of the study, says “As is true for many aspects of health care, geography is destiny. Where you live determines your access to the best quality of life and highest quality of care during a serious illness.” She adds, “The aging of the baby boomer generation is contributing to a growing population of patients in need who live for years with serious and chronic illness. The need to improve the quality of their health care is therefore urgent.”

To improve the availability of palliative care, the report says “Federal and state policymakers could change the equation by focusing on key areas including: workforce, research, improving clinical skills, public awareness, and payment models linked to quality measures. Several states are already developing new initiatives and passing supportive legislation.” (PR Newswire, 9/26, www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/best-and-worst-states-providing-access-to-palliative-care-300926041.html)


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