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The benefits of starting palliative care earlier

Updated: Jun 30

This Scientific American article reminds us again about the value of involving palliative care

early in patient care. It begins by noting that only one in ten patients who need palliative care

receive it. The article goes on to note that patients who receive palliative care earlier are more satisfied. Patients live longer, up to three months, when they receive palliative care. So, to summarize, palliative care provides better care outcomes, increases patient satisfaction, and lowers costs. Yet 90% of patients do not receive it. Unfortunately, the article does not discuss solutions to this well-known healthcare problem. While there are many reasons for this result,the primary reason is the payment system. The payment system discourages the use of palliative care. My book, The Journey’s End, offers pragmatic and straightforward solutions to advance palliative care.

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