Massachusetts has been slow to implement an expert panel's recommendations that would increase the number of patients who receive hospice and palliative care, but new initiatives are gaining traction. A law approved last year requires hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities to distribute information on the availability of palliative and hospice care, and a state education campaign about medical orders for life-sustaining treatment has begun in about 169 hospitals and other care facilities. Dr. Lachlan Forrow, the leader of the panel, said he was "baffled" that more progress hasn't been made.

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