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Palliative Care in California: The State of Hospital-Based Programs

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Abstract:

California's hospitals generally offer patients the most advanced treatments to cure illness, but state-of-the-art care to manage complex symptoms and to ease suffering is often unavailable or underused. As a result, many patients receive unwanted, invasive care while their pain and discomfort are not adequately managed. Hospitals can, however, provide patients and their families with support through the interdisciplinary approach of palliative care, which focuses on relieving both physical and emotional suffering. And, unlike hospice, palliative care can be provided along with curative treatment. The series of reports below cover the state of palliative care in California, outline the fundamentals of creating hospital-based palliative care programs, provide an overview of innovative models of palliative care, both in California and across the nation, and outline the business case for developing a hospital-based palliative care program.