CAPC has just released a “report card”reflecting on the state of palliative care across the nation. THe report was created for the first time in 2008, and apparently as a nation since then we went from a C to a B. What it means in reality? I guess more quality palliative care programs across the nation.
Seven states and DC and got an A, more than half of the states are ranked B, and there are two that got an F. One can download the full report here or just look at specific state statistics.
The CBS Evening News ran a story last week that highlighted the fact that 25% of all Medicare spending (about $100 billion) occurs during the last year of life, in part because patients are receiving futile, aggressive treatments. The news story featured a 53 year old woman who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It also talked compassionately about how difficult it is as a doctor to tell a patient that curative treatment is not likely to be effective.