April 12, 2018

Palliative Care Advisory Council Report

In 2017, the legislature established a Palliative Care Advisory Council for the State of Minnesota. By law, the Council must assess the availability of palliative care in the state of Minnesota, analyze barriers to greater access to palliative care, and make recommendations for legislative action. By February 15 of each year, the Council is required to report on its progress. This report provides an introduction to palliative care, updates the status of the Council, provides preliminary reporting on the availability of palliative care in Minnesota, and outlines the Council’s next steps. 

To assess the availability of palliative care in Minnesota, this report provides data on hospitalbased palliative care, the numbers of hospice and palliative care certified physicians and nurses, and public awareness of palliative care. While the data is limited, results show:

▪ 61% of Minnesota hospitals offer palliative care services, compared to 59% of hospitals nationally

▪ Availability of hospital-based palliative care is greater in urban areas

▪ We do not yet have data on the availability of community based palliative care in MN

▪ Minnesota has 226 Hospice and Palliative Certified physicians, 41 Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurses, and 232 Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurses

▪ Over two-thirds of Minnesotans demonstrate no knowledge or familiarity of palliative care

While this report provides a brief overview of palliative care date for Minnesota, the Council will continue to gather and study palliative care data for Minnesota.  There are plans to develop a robust assessment of Minnesota’s need, availability and access to palliative care services.  The Council will also assess the barriers to care.  From this data, the Council will analyze factors that could be considered for legislative impact. In addition, the Council will continue to define its governance structure and will embark on strategic planning to ground itself as an advisory body.

Linked below is the Palliative Care Advisory Council’s first progress report.  Of note, is the council’s intent to create a strategic plan for its work between now and 2025.  This will be a great opportunity for our healthcare members to provide input.