States Chart a Policy Path to Improve Palliative Care Services Across the Care Continuum

Health Affairs (Summer 2019) Riley, Trish; Purington, Kitty

The National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) will release this fall policy recommendations from a State Leadership Council on Palliative Care for enhancing palliative care. States are increasingly requiring palliative care as a continuing medical education (CME) mandate to grow capacity and ensure primary care or non-specialists can manage lower-acuity patients. For example, doctors in Rhode Island are required to complete a minimum of four hours of CME every two years on key topics such as end-of-life and palliative care. Also essential to improving palliative care is effective measurement of services, which states can facilitate through resources like the National Quality Forum and Quality Measures for Serious Illness Care. These recommendations provide an initial framework for states to improve both uptake and quality of palliative care services in their delivery systems, and the NASHP and state policy leaders will emphasize successful state strategies to effect the recommendations in the coming months.

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