The Center to Advance Palliative Care recently issued its 2011 state-by-state report card, “America’s Care of Serious Illness”
(www.capc.org/reportcard), counting the proportion of each state’s hospitals with access to organized palliative-care programs. Eight states and the District of Columbia received “A” grades, as 80% of their acute-care hospitals also provided palliative-care services. Two states, Delaware and Mississippi, received “F” grades, as their hospitals hit only 20%.
The authors say palliative-care teams can reduce suffering and distress among patients with serious illnesses, regardless of age or disease state, improve communication, and reduce unwanted medical interventions. According to the most recent survey by the American Hospital Association, 1,894 U.S. hospitals have palliative-care programs, including 85% of those with 300 beds or more.