Cost Effectiveness of a Palliative Care Program in a Rural Community Hospital

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARYPalliative care benefits patients and their families because care is focused on improving the quality of life rather than aggressively treating life-limiting illnesses.Although it would seem logical that palliative care could reduce expenses and improve quality of life, there is a need to examine the cost effectiveness of palliative care before full-scale implementation.Key success factors for implementing the palliative care program included assessing the facility's desire to implement palliative care and a readiness for major change in medical and nursing practice.Even in a small hospital, effective palliative care services can be provided with positive financial outcomes for dying patients and their families.This study demonstrated the important benefits of palliative care services and the need to offer this delivery care option to every patient regardless of the hospital's size, budget, or location.

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