Integration of Palliative Care Advanced Practice Nurses Into Intensive Care Unit Teams

Sean O’Mahony, Tricia J. Johnson, Shawn Amer, Marlene E. McHugh, Janet McHenry, Laura Fosler, Vladimir Kvetan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Referrals to palliative care for patients at the end of life in the intensive care unit (ICU) often happen late in the ICU stay, if at all. The integration of a palliative medicine advanced practice nurse (APN) is one potential strategy for proactively identifying patients who could benefit from this service. Objective: To evaluate the association between the integration of palliative medicine APNs into the routine operations of ICUs and hospital costs at 2 different institutions, Montefiore Medical Center (MMC) and Rush University Medical Center. Methods: The association between collaborative palliative care consultation service programs and hospital costs per patient was evaluated for the 2 institutions. Hospital costs were compared for patients with and without a referral to palliative care using Mann-Whitney U tests. Results: Hospital nonroom and board costs at the Weiler campus of MMC were significantly lower for patients with palliative care compared with those who did not receive palliative care (Median = US$6643 vs US$12 399, P <.001). Cost differences for ICU patients with and without palliative care at Rush University Medical Center were not significantly different. Conclusion: Our evaluation suggests that the integration of APNs into a palliative care team for case finding may be a promising strategy, but more work is needed to determine whether reductions in cost are significant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)330-334
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • advanced practice provider
  • economics
  • health care costs
  • palliative care
  • palliative care consultation
  • team-based care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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