As you get ready to count down the last ten seconds of 2014, we recap ten significant palliative care stories that had an impact this year. It has been a strong and memorable year for palliative care as this medical speciality continues to grow and gain global attention. Below are a few examples.
Palliative Care Survey Summary Results Show Palliative Care Growth
CAPC and the National Palliative Care Research Center (NPCRC) released the results of the 2012 National Palliative Care Registry Survey. The report showed key findings on the association between staffing levels and the ability to reach patients in need. Click here to download the summary. To hear more about palliative care research, visit our Research Into Practice Page.
Patients Turn to Palliative Care for Relief from Serious Illness
Palliative care’s steadfast growth across the United States was spotlighted in the Wall Street Journal. The story underlined the many benefits this specialty has to offer through interviews with patients, advocates and specialists. Click here to read the article.
House Calls Are Making a Comeback
The New York Times released an article that pointed to the growing trend of palliative care teams stretching their services into patients’ homes once they are discharged from the hospital. This method of care has proven to be a win-win for both sides as it lowers readmission rates for institutions and allows patients to receive top-notch palliative care in their own environments. Click here to read the full story.
Book: Meeting the Needs of Older Adults with Serious Illness
Dr. Diane Meier and Dr. Amy Kelley published the book, Meeting the Needs of Older Adults with Serious Illness: Challenges and Opportunities in the Age of Health Care Reform. The book maps out how the principles of palliative care can effectively address many of the key challenges currently facing the U.S. healthcare system. For more information and to purchase the book today, click here.
Early Palliative Care Can Cut Hospital Readmissions for Cancer Patients
A study released by Duke University Hospital showed that cancer patients who receive palliative care are readmitted to the hospital less than those who do not take advantage of this medical specialty. The Duke researchers used a collaborative model that proved effective, showing a 23-percent decrease in the number of patients readmitted to the hospital within a week of discharge. Results also showed that patients were discharged from the hospital sooner and transfers to the intensive care unit decreased. To read the full story, click here.
Impactful Payer-Provider Toolkit Released
CAPC published, in collaboration with the California HealthCare Foundation and the National Business Group on Health, a new reference guide and toolkit intended for organizations leading the financing of health care (including commercial insurers, self-funded employers and federal and state government agencies) – and for providers working in shared risk arrangements.The Toolkit identifies opportunities to integrate palliative care into payer programs and products; highlights case examples from industry leaders demonstrating what payers are already doing to advance palliative care initiatives; provides tools, check lists and action plans to get you started; and much more. Download the toolkit here.
‘I Don’t Want Jenny To Think I’m Abandoning Her’: Views On Overtreatment
CAPC Director Diane E. Meier published a moving essay on palliative care in Health Affairs, the leading journal of health policy thought and research. The essay details a poignant story of a cancer patient seeking better communication and support from her oncologist. Click here to read the full story. To listen to a podcast of the piece, click here. In 2014, Health Affairs published several impactful palliative care blogs as part of their series which brings pressing palliative care issues to light. Visit Palliative in Practice’s Health Affairs Blog Series page to read more.
Palliative Care at the Capital: PQLC Lobby Day
On July 23, over 19 organizations and their advocates went to Washington D.C. to educate lawmakers on the value and impact of palliative care and to ask for support of quality of life bills. The Patient Quality of Life Coalition (PQLC)—formed to advance the interests of patients and families facing serious illness—put this event together to emphasize the importance of public policy in favor of better access to, education for, and research about palliative care. Click here to learn more.
Palliative Care Public Awareness Gets a Boost
As part of its ongoing educational efforts to increase the public’s understanding of palliative care, CAPC released a video animation that defines and explains what palliative care is and how it supports people facing serious illness. The video – among the first of its kind on this subject – compares people facing serious illness to a bridge that needs support. CAPC is also currently sharing a series of videos and podcasts that spotlight individual palliative care stories. Major funding for this campaign has been provided by the Cambia Health Foundation.
Early Palliative Care Can Lessen Hospital Stays, Improve Well-Being
A study conducted by researchers a the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center found that early referrals to palliative care lead to fewer hospitalizations, ER visits, intensive-care admissions and hospital deaths. To read a detailed synopsis of the study, click here.