End-of-Life Care in the United States: Current Reality and Future Promise – A Policy Review

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARYData collection and analysis of that data are vital to developing effective outcome measures when it comes to improvements in the cost and quality of delivered health care.The present state of end-of-life care in the United States is evaluated, focusing on statistics of disparities in access to and type of care provided across the country.Although only a few portions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act deal with end-of-life care reform, the multiple innovative efforts occurring at state and local levels are proving very effective in improving end-of-life care.Possible improvements and obstacles to those improvements, and the involvement of the profession of nursing are highlighted.The focus of this investigation is to determine if the evidence supports the following imperative: that the money spent for end-of-life care be spent in a manner that benefits the patient and complements his or her wishes.

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