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hospice and palliative care, hospital quality and efficiency, palliative care programs



  1. Spaulding, Aaron PhD, MHA
  2. Harrison, Debra A. DNP, RN, NEA-BC
  3. Harrison, Jeffrey P. PhD, MBA, MHA, FACHE


Palliative care services are becoming more prevalent in the United States as greater portions of the population are requiring end-of-life services. Furthermore, recent policy changes and service foci have promoted more continuity and encompassing care. This study evaluates characteristics that distinguish hospitals with a palliative care program from hospitals without such a program in order to better define the markets and environments that promote the creation and usage of these programs. This study demonstrates that palliative care programs are more likely in communities with favorable economic factors and higher Medicare populations. Large hospitals with high occupancy rates and a high case mix index use palliative care programs to better meet patient needs and improve hospital efficiency. Managerial, nursing, and policy implications are discussed relating to further usage and implementation of palliative care programs.