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Mt Sinai J Med. 2012 Sep-Oct;79(5):579-85. doi: 10.1002/msj.21338.

Integrating palliative care into primary care.

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Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.


Patients with serious illnesses are living longer and with greater disabilities. Palliative-care interventions have been shown to increase quality of life, lower costs, and improve survival. In order to meet the palliative-care needs of patients, it is crucial for primary-care clinicians to understand how they can provide primary palliative care and when they should refer to palliative-care specialists. By working together, many more patients and families will receive the comprehensive, individualized, coordinated care and support that both primary care and palliative care offers to patients. This article will review literature illustrating the benefits of palliative care; discuss why primary-care clinicians are ideally suited to incorporate palliative care into their practice; and provide guidance to primary-care clinicians regarding how and when to access palliative-care specialist services, how to gain more training in palliative care, and how to be reimbursed for palliative-care visits.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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