The number of U.S. hospitals that offer palliative care grew by 138.3 percent from 2000-2009 and now includes 63 percent of all hospitals with over 50 beds, a report by the Center To Advance Palliative Care finds. In 2009, 1,568 hospitals with over 50 beds employed palliative care teams. In contrast, only 24.5 percent of hospitals with more than 50 beds, or 600 hospitals in total, offered those services in 2000. The number of hospitals offering palliative care services grew steadily throughout the 2000s, reaching more than half of hospitals in 2005.
Among the other findings:
- Palliative care teams were most prevalent in the Northeast and Midwest, where 73 percent and 72 percent of hospitals, respectively, offered those services in 2009.
- Only 51 percent of Southern hospitals offered palliative care services in 2009.
- Large hospitals were more likely to employ palliative care teams; roughly 85 percent of hospitals with more than 300 beds used the teams.
- Meanwhile, 22 percent of hospitals with less than 50 beds offered palliative care in 2009.