Exploratory Study Looks at Hospital Data on Costs and Financing of Palliative Care Programs

Exploratory study of the cost of hospital palliative care

From 2000 to 2002, Laguna Research Associates, San Francisco, conducted a feasibility study to determine whether hospitals had sufficient data on their palliative care programs to warrant a full study of the costs and financing of hospital-based palliative care.

In the winter and spring of 2001 researchers gathered information from 14 palliative care programs around the country.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) program, Targeted End-of-Life Projects Initiative.

Key Findings

  • In a report to RWJF, the project director summarized the following findings on palliative care program characteristics and their capacity to provide information on services, costs and financing:

    • The 14 programs in the study showed some similarities but demonstrated no standard model of palliative care overall.
    • Almost all the programs relied on a combination of fundraising, hospital internal support and service revenue to fund their programs.
    • The programs observed varied greatly in their readiness to participate in a study of palliative care services, costs and financing.