Palliative care in U.S. hospitals has increased yet again this year, according to released today by the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC). The prevalence of hospitals (50 or more beds) with a palliative care team increased from 658 to 1,744 – a 165% increase from 2000 to 2013.

The rise in prevalence of palliative care in U.S. hospitals has been steady over the last 13 years. In 2000, less than one-quarter of U.S. hospitals (658) had a palliative care program, compared with nearly three-quarters (1,744) in 2013. If current trends continue, by 2017, eight in ten U.S. hospitals with 50 or more beds will have a palliative care program.

“The continued growth of palliative care in U.S. hospitals shows that patients with serious illness and their families are receiving the quality care they need,” said CAPC Director Diane E. Meier, MD. “We are well on our way to ensuring that our most vulnerable patients have full access to palliative care.”

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. This type of care is focused on relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of a serious illness - whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.

Palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and can be provided along with curative treatment. It is provided by a team of doctors, nurses, and other specialists, who work together with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support.

As the number of Americans living with serious and chronic illness has increased, so has the prevalence of palliative care in U.S. hospitals. Their varied needs, along with the burdens faced by their caregivers, has developed a growing demand for quality palliative care that more and more U.S. hospitals are now able to meet.


The Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) and, is a national organization dedicated to increasing palliative care services for people facing serious illness. It is affiliated with The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.


CONTACT: Lisa Morgan, LDM Strategies, 212.924.6182 or [email protected].

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