Posted January 18, 2023
According to new research by the Veterans Health Administration (VA), patients are more likely to utilize palliative care when they have access to social workers.
VA Researchers analyzed records for 43,200 veterans with prior hospitalization who had received primary care at a VA site between October 2016 and September 2019. They found a 95% increase in hospice or palliative utilization among veterans served by VA providers participating in the agency’s Social Work Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT). The average age among the veterans was about 65.
“This cohort study found significant increases in use of palliative care for recently hospitalized veterans whose primary care team had additional social work staffing,” the authors wrote in the story. “These findings suggest that social workers may increase access to and/or use of palliative care.”
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