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National Scorecard Ranks Palliative Care Across Country

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The National Palliative Care Research Center has issued a state-by-state report card which measures U.S. palliative care quality, reports The Washington Post.

In the new state-by-state ranking, only Vermont, Montana and New Hampshire get an A, while Oklahoma, Alabama and Mississippi get an F. The rest of the states are somewhere in between, although Southern states did not fare well in general.

Using American Hospital Association data and other sources, the Center graded states on the percentage of hospitals with palliative care programs that were set up appropriately to meet the needs of seriously ill patients.

There are 90 million Americans with conditions such as cancer, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease who can benefit from such programs, according to the report, which shows a wide range of palliative care availability in different types of hospitals. Overall, 52.8 percent of American hospitals with more than 50 beds have palliative care programs. But such programs are found in only 20.3 percent of for-profit hospitals, 40.9 percent of publicly funded hospitals and 28.8 percent of hospitals that are sole community providers of medical care, the study found.

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