Number of hospitals with palliative care programs doubles

A recent report from the Journal of Palliative Medicine has found that the number of hospitals with palliative care programs has nearly doubled since 2000, rising to 53 percent of hospital facilities with more than fifty beds.

The report also graded states based on the percentage of hospitals in-state that had palliative care programs. Only three states received an A grade, which required at least 80 percent of hospitals to have such programs: the states were Vermont, New Hampshire, and Montana. Some fifteen states didn't even reach the 50 percent mark.

On the other hand, the report praised some states that only had a C grade, based on the efforts they are making to improve palliative care. California was singled out for requiring physicians to complete training in palliative care, and New York was commended for approving $4.6 million for palliative care training for its physicians.

On October 29, the first exam approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties for certification in hospice and palliative medicine will be administered. It's good to see that hospitals have been making inroads into palliative care so that there will be plenty of room for the newly certified specialists to take their places.

To learn more about the palliative medicine report:
-read this American Medical News piece