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The goal of palliative care is to prevent and relieve suffering and to support the best possible quality of life for patients and their families, regardless of the stage of the disease or the need for other therapies. It focuses on relief of the pain, symptoms, and stress of serious illness and on improving communication with patients and families. Provided by a team of clinicians and specialists who work with the patient’s regular physicians to provide an extra layer of support, palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness. It can be provided wherever a patient is seen and can be provided together with curative treatment.

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GETPALLIATIVECARE.ORG

Getpalliativecare.org provides clear, comprehensive palliative care information for people coping with serious, complex illness.

“Improving the Quality of Cancer Care: Implications for Palliative Care,”

By Betty Ferrell and Thomas Smith, Journal of Palliative Medicine, 2014. A report on the recommendations of the IOM report and the implications for the palliative care community.

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“America’s Care of Serious Illness: A State-by-State Report Card on Access to Palliative Care in Our Nation’s Hospitals,”

from the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC).

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Public Opinion Research on Palliative Care: A Report Based on Research by Public Opinion Strategies.

These 2011 survey findings provide a road-map for communicating with consumers and policymakers on the benefits and future direction of palliative care.

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“Palliative and End-of-Life Care in Stroke: A Statement for Healthcare Professionals From the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association,”

by Holloway RG, et al., from Stroke, March 2014.

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“Early Specialty Palliative Care — Translating Data in Oncology into Practice,”

by Parikh et al., from the New England Journal of Medicine, December 2013. This article examines the case for early palliative care from clinical, economic, and political perspectives.

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“Palliative Care and the Quality of Life,”

by Dr. Diane Meier and Dr. Otis Brawley, from the Journal of Clinical Oncology, June 2011.

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“Palliative Care Consultation Teams Cut Hospital Costs For Medicaid Beneficiaries,”

by Morrison et al., in Health Affairs, March 2011. This study of a state Medicaid population demonstrated that hospital-based palliative care teams create efficiencies that deliver significant cost savings.

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“Early Palliative Care for Patients with Metastatic Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer,”

by Temel et al., from the New England Journal of Medicine, August 2010. This study shows the beneficial effect of palliative care when it is provided throughout the continuum of care for advanced lung cancer.

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“Cost Savings Associated with US Hospital Palliative Care Consultation Programs,”

by Morrison et al., in Archives of Internal Medicine, September 2008. This was the first study to empirically evaluate the actual effect of palliative care on U.S. hospital costs, and it found that hospital palliative care consultation teams are associated with significant hospital savings.

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Palliative Care Resources and References:

The Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) has assembled a collection of research, resources and references to assist in designing, strengthening, maintaining and defending Palliative Care programs.

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“Living Life In My Own Way–And Dying That Way As Well,”

by Amy Berman, from Health Affairs, April 2012.

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“Restoring Quality of Life”

The official blog of the Partnership for Palliative Care.

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“An Extra Layer of Care: The progress of palliative medicine”

published in Harvard Magazine, March-April, 2015.

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“Teaching doctors when to stop treatment,”

by Diane E. Meier and Health Affairs, published in The Washington Post, May 19, 2014.

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“Lives Less Ordinary,”

by Jerome Groopman, from The New Yorker, January 2014. “Chronically Ill Children are living longer than ever. How should we care for them?”

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Better Care, Lower Cost Act

by  Sponsored by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. , U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga. , U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn. , U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt. The Better Care, Lower Cost Act seeks to remove barriers preventing Medicare providers from focusing on the chronically ill and proposes to ensure seniors can access specialized, patient-centered chronic care no matter where they live.

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