Why Focus on Palliative Care?

A better health system would keep patients comfortable during serious illness.

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illnesses. This type of care is focused on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain and stress of serious illness, whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.

CIVHC has become a national go-to source for insight into palliative care issues through convening, reporting and analyses. In 2014, CIVHC and taskforce partners from across the state successfully appealed to the Colorado State Board of Health to include a definition of palliative care as part of the Colorado Standards for Hospitals and Health Facilities.

Each month, CIVHC currently convenes an Advance Care Planning (ACP) Work Group and two subcommittees – Provider Training and Skill Building and Palliative Care Reimbursement. At these meetings stakeholders discuss issues facing the palliative care community and brainstorm ideas about how to affect meaningful change. Please contact Kari Degerness, LNHA, MBA, at kdegerness@civhc.org for information about joining the Work Group and Subcommittees.

CIVHC's Palliative Care Program -

Supporting the Advancement of Palliative Care Services in Colorado and Beyond

Source: CIVHC

The Center for Improving Value in Health Care (CIVHC) is committed to supporting efforts to expand and enhance approaches to health care that embody the Triple Aim (better health, better care, lower cost). Palliative care lies squarely within the intersection of these three goals, impacting the lives not only of the patients but also of their families/care givers. 

This brief outlines CIVHC's Palliative Care Program goals and activities.


Report - Palliative Care in Colorado

Trends, Gaps, and Opportunities to Improve Care for Coloradans

Source: CIVHC

The common misconception that palliative care is the same as hospice care has made palliative care a sensitive and often avoided subject with many people - patients and providers alike. In reality, while palliative care can include hospice care, it is much broader than immediate end of life care and can be incredibly helpful to anyone suffering with a severe or life-limiting illness.

This report analyzes the results of a 2013 survey, conducted by Hospice Analytics in partnership with CIVHC, designed to evaluate palliative care in Colorado, identify where, how, and to whom services are being provided, and identify barriers to expanding palliative care services.

Palliative Care Best Practices: A Guide for Long-Term Care and Hospice

If you or your organization provides patient care through long-term care, assisted living, or home health, this manual is an essential tool to assist you in providing high quality, efficient, patient-centered care!

In 2010 and 2011, multiple members of CIVHC's Palliative Care Task Force worked together to update this step-by-step, comprehensive manual which serves as a guide to providing quality care for long-term care residents. The document addresses advance care planning and advance directives, pain and symptom management, spiritual and emotional issues, death practices and bereavement support for families and facility staff. A special section provides detailed guidelines for coordination of services with hospice care.