Rural Hospice and Palliative Care – Models and Innovations
These stories feature model programs and successful rural projects that can serve as a source of ideas and provide lessons others have learned. Some of the projects or programs may no longer be active. Read about the criteria and evidence-base for programs included.
Updated/reviewed October 2019
- Need: To enhance palliative care access to rural patients with advanced cancer or heart failure and their family caregivers.
- Intervention: Project ENABLE consists of: 1) an initial in-person palliative care consultation with a specialty-trained provider and 2) a semi-structured series of weekly, phone-delivered, nurse-led coaching sessions designed to help patients and their caregivers enhance their problem-solving, symptom management, and coping skills.
- Results: Patients and caregivers report higher quality of life and lower rates of depression and (caregiver) burden.
Updated/reviewed June 2021
- Need: To provide Lakota elders with tools and opportunities for advance care planning.
- Intervention: An outreach program in South Dakota helps Lakota elders with advance care planning and wills by providing bilingual brochures and advance directive coaches.
- Results: Care for Our Elders saw an increase in the number of Lakota elders understanding the differences between a will and a living will and the need to have end-of-life discussions with family and healthcare providers.
Updated/reviewed July 2021
- Need: To provide palliative care to patients with stage 4 cancer.
- Intervention: The Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center in Charlottesville, Virginia, implemented a three-part program to help these patients manage their symptoms.
- Results: The Proactive Palliative Care and Palliative Radiation Model enrolled 646 patients during its three-year funding period of 2012-2015.
Other Project Examples
Updated/reviewed July 2019
- Need: To provide holistic, interdisciplinary palliative care to those with chronic illnesses in rural hospitals in Cook County, Minnesota.
- Intervention: Care Partners of Cook County created a palliative care program that utilizes local healthcare professionals and volunteers to provide universal care to patients and caregivers, without Medicare hospice status.
- Results: Since its inception in 2010, the program has assisted over 185 residents in need.
Updated/reviewed May 2019
- Need: To provide easily-accessible and affordable services to address the challenges associated with aging, serious illness and grief across Western Colorado's rural counties.
- Intervention: A nonprofit, community-sustained healthcare model was created to address serious illness care and grief needs of adults and children.
- Results: Since 1993, HopeWest has helped more than 22,000 hospice patients and families in need and has grown to serve five counties.
Updated/reviewed December 2018
- Need: Low patient volumes, a shortage of EMS volunteers, and an aging population in a 5-county North Dakota region required a change in the way the Rugby EMS team delivered care.
- Intervention: Through the Rugby Community Paramedic Program, EMS staff brought medical care to patients transitioning back into their homes, including hospice patients and those with chronic conditions.
- Results: The program's early intervention methods helped reduce the number of emergency room admissions and the escalation of medical conditions. Patient satisfaction improved, and the program gained the trust of patients and medical staff in Rugby and surrounding areas.
Last Updated: 7/6/2021