Our health-care system can be overwhelming for those of us in the best of health. This is especially true of those living with serious and life-threatening illnesses, such as cancer or heart disease — who are juggling multiple doctors, diagnoses, treatment regimens and social stressors. Patients cycle in and out of hospitals and nursing facilities, yet 80 percent say they would rather be at home as they approach the end-of-life.
Compared to other nations, U.S. health care providers rely more heavily on medical services and procedures than providing less costly services that can help patients remain more independent and at home, but that is beginning to change.
States like Tennessee are beginning to recognize the importance of improving care for patients with advanced illness. Last month the Tennessee general assembly passed a law establishing the Palliative Care and Quality of Life Advisory Council, a recommendation of a state-level task force earlier this year.
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