Expert Voices

Improving Health Care Value Through Increased Access to Palliative Care

By: Diane E. Meier, MD, Director, Center to Advance Palliative Care & Professor and Vice-Chair for Public Policy, Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine

A growing body of research shows that palliative care improves quality of life, reduces costs and extends survival time, yet it is estimated that only a small portion of the patients who could benefit from this care are receiving it. In this essay, Dr. Meier argues that widening the reach of palliative care could increase value in the health care system. She describes how variable access, workforce shortages and lack of research support present barriers to optimal use of palliative care services and concludes with policy recommendations to encourage the expansion of quality palliative care.


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