In Health Affairs, a group of palliative care experts from across the industry published a detailed article outlining the need for a national palliative care strategy to ensure reliable access to high-quality palliative care for Americans with serious medical illnesses. In the piece, the authors review approaches employed by other countries, list the participants needed to develop and implement an actionable strategy, and identify analogous US national health initiatives to inform a process for implementing the strategy.
“Most health care providers lack knowledge about palliative care and skills in pain and symptom management, communication, and care coordination, and both the public and health professionals are only vaguely aware of the benefits of palliative care and how and when to access it. The lack of policy supports for palliative care contributes to preventable suffering and low-value care,” say the authors.
Authors include, among others, Diane E. Meier, director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care; Amy Berman, senior program officer at the John A. Hartford Foundation; Anthony L. Back, co-director of VitalTalk and a professor at the University of Washington; and R. Sean Morrison, director of the National Palliative Care Research Center and professor in the Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Click here to read the full paper.