Larry Beresford is a freelance medical writer and health care journalist specializing in hospice, palliative care, end-of-life care, opioid pain management and related fields. He also contributes regularly to The Hospitalist Magazine and The Rheumatologist Magazine.

He authored the definitive consumer’s guidebook to hospice care (The Hospice Handbook: A Complete Guide, published by Little, Brown & Co.), as well as contributing articles on hospice and palliative care to a variety of health care trade magazines and developing and writing newsletters, columns, manuals and white papers intended for managers and clinicians.

He is the former editor of Hospice Compliance Letter, published by Weatherbee Resources; current editor and publisher of the Hospice House Network; co-author (with Dr. Diane Meier) of the “Notes from the Field” column that ran in the Journal of Palliative Medicine; and author of articles about the place for healing gardens and horticultural therapy in health care settings.

From 2016 to 2018, he contributed 17 blog posts on end-of-life issues to The Lancet’s United States of Health U.S. blog page. He has also contributed recent blog posts to The Center to Advance Palliative Care and the California State University Institute for Palliative Care.

His articles have been published in the Washington Post, American Medical News, Medscape, Hospitals & Health Networks, Health Plan, Managed Care, Medical Economics, Hospice Journal, Hospice Magazine, Anesthesiology News, Future Age and Healthcare Design Magazine.

His experience also includes participating in two ethics projects at the Hastings Center, Garrison, N.Y., and serving as a hospice patient care volunteer in varied settings for nearly two decades. He also writes, publishes and performs original poetry. He lives with his wife Rose Mark, also a writer, in a cohousing community called Phoenix Commons in Oakland, Calif.



Latest publications

What is Trauma-Informed Care for Older Adults? Stria News, July 15, 2019.

How to Find a Quality Hospice. AARP, June 27, 2019.

Rural hospices face challenges with compassion and creativity. Rural Health Quarterly, june 23, 2019

What can mindfulness offer to you and your patients?  Medical Economics, February 20, 2019

In addition to helping patients better manage chronic, difficult-to-treat conditions, mindfulness could help physicians manage job stress and burnout.

Managing dementia in the ambulatory care setting, Medical Economics, October 1, 2018

The responsibility for both diagnosing and managing patients with dementia often falls largely on the primary care physician.

Expert Says Cultural Movement Needed to Transform End of Life Experience in America, California State University Institute for Palliative Care: Palliative Care Education – Anytime, Anywhere blog page, December 21, 2018

Elevating the Role of Unpaid Caregivers, California State University Institute for Palliative Care: Palliative Care Education – Anytime, Anywhere blog page, December 14, 2018

Language Is a Vital Tool in Maximizing Palliative Care, California State University Institute for Palliative Care: Palliative Care Education – Anytime, Anywhere blog page, December 12, 2018


Hospices Face Challenges, Opportunities in Expansion of Palliative Care, California State University Institute for Palliative Care: Palliative Care Education – Anytime, Anywhere blog page, November 20, 2018

Hospice and Palliative Care Providers Eye Opioid Restrictions Warily, California State University Institute for Palliative Care: Palliative Care Education – Anytime, Anywhere blog page, October 24, 2018

Balancing Pain Treatment with Risks of Comorbid Substance Use Disorder for Patients with Serious Illness, By Diane E. Meier and Larry Beresford, Center to Advance Palliative Care, December 10, 2018

A full-day workshop in Washington, DC, on November 29th delved deeply into the challenge of safely managing the pain of people with serious illness in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic, highlighting the ways that responses to the public health crisis impact palliative care providers’ ability to relieve patient suffering.


Blog Posts

Posts on end-of-life topics at The Lancet’s United States of Health US Blog Page from 2016 to 2018 (see pages 1, 3, 9, 18, 35, 46, 62, 81, 84 100, 116, 120, 126, 152, 171, 178 and 195 in archives).

Other blog posts include: “Completing my own advance directive – and living to tell the tale,” originally posted at the National Health Care Decisions website

Other posts at Growthhouse from 2006 to 2012:


The Hospitalist newsmagazine is an official publication of the Society of Hospital Medicine, reporting on issues and trends in hospital medicine. The Hospitalist reaches more than 35,000 hospitalists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, medical residents, and healthcare administrators interested in the practice and business of hospital medicine. See complete author directory here.


Embracing an executive leadership role

Dr. Bryce Gartland says hospitalists thrive as leaders; April 19, 2019


The state of hospital medicine in 2018

Productivity, pay, and roles remain center stage; January 8, 2019


Hospitalist groups explore use of medical scribes

Can scribes reduce doctors’ job stress? November 13, 2018


Hospital readmissions penalties now in 5th year

Some question whether hospitals should be held accountable for readmissions; September 19, 2017


10 Things Hospitalists Need to Know about Palliative Care

Experts debunk the most common misperceptions, October 2016


PAs, NPs Seizing Key Leadership Roles in HM Groups, Health Systems, July 2016


Research Shows Link Between EHR and Physician Burnout, April 2016


Hospital Medicine Flourishing Around the World, November 2015


AMA's Christine Sinsky, MD, Explains EHR’s Contribution to Physician Burnout, October 2015


Post-Acute Patient Care New Frontier for Hospitalists, July, 2015


Hospitalists’ Responsibility, Role in Readmission Prevention, April, 2015


Hospitalists’ Role in Health Reform Evolves , December, 2014


Hospitalist Tips for Talking to Seriously Ill Patients , December, 2014


Palliative Care Can Be Incredibly Intense, Richly Rewarding for Hospitalists, December 2013


Rival Hospitalists Can Bring Havoc, or Healthy Competition to Hospitals, May 2013


A Resting Place, Palliative care and hospital medicine; August 2010

Change You Should Believe In

Improving Transitions of Care, July 2010


Spotlight on Stroke, December 2009


Back to Basics

UCSF mini-college provides hands-on experience with neuro exams, procedure practice, and critical care co-management; December 2008


Pain at the Pump

PCA Offers Patients Greater Control but can Mean Trouble for the Inexperienced Physician; September 2007


Know Your Neurology

Hospitalists must be able to step in when specialists aren’t around in an emergency, February 2008


“High-Tech Nightmare: Computerized order-entry systems can make hospitalists’ jobs easier—but barriers often are formidable.” 

February 2008


Methadone: Handle with Care

Miracle painkiller comes with many questions and downsides—especially for inexperienced practitioners, September 2007


Here, There, Everywhere: Hospitalists juggle work and home commitments

December 2006 


The following are cover stories that were published in the quarterly newsletter of AAHPM, the professional organization for physicians specializing in hospice and palliative medicine, nurses, and other healthcare providers.

Spring 2019 Feature, "Tracking the Evolution of HPM Science"

Fall 2018 Feature, "A Complex Landscape of Certification and Credentialing Defines the HPM Workforce"

Summer 2018 Feature, “Looking for Balance in Prescribing Opioids”

Spring 2018 Feature, "Resiliency on the Job Is Vital for Palliative Care Teams—And for Their Organizations"

Spring 2017 Feature, "Telehealth Is Opening Doors for Hospice and Palliative Care"

Summer 2016 Feature: Unconscious Bias Requires Concentration, Consistent Effort from Provider

Winter 2014 Feature: A Call to Action: The IOM Report

Summer 2014 Feature: Disparities, Diversity and Palliative Care

Sprinig 2014 Feature: Stress, Burnout and Self-care Strategies for Hospice and Palliative Physicians 

Fall 2013 Feature: Hospice medical directors confront demands of heightened regulation

Spring 2013 Feature: AAHPM Recommends 5 Things Physicians and Patients Should Question in Hospice and Palliative Medicine


What Can Therapeutic Gardens Offer to Intensive Care Unit Family Visitors? Society for Critical Care Medicine Critical Connections Magazine Online, February 2016

Gardens Enhance Quality of Life, Therapeutic Opportunities in Senior Communities, LeadingAge Magazine, March/April 2015

Hospice Gardens Bring Patients Closer To Nature,  Environments for Aging, April 2015

Legacy Emanuel Medical Center Plants With Purpose, Healthcare Design Magazine, November 2014

Hospital to Gauge Health Benefits of Therapeutic Garden, The Hospitalist Magazine. August 2013


The Rheumatologist Magazine, an official publication of the American College of Rheumatology

Can Rheumatologists Get More Systematic about Psychosocial Care? June 21, 2018

Balancing Opioid Addiction Risk with Pain Management Needs, February 18, 2018

Marijuana for Rheumatology Patients? February 17, 2018

Why & How Doctors Should Foster Shared Decision Making with Patients, February 17, 2018  

Experts Discuss Rheumatologists’ Role in Treating Depression, Anxiety and Psychological Comorbidities in Their Patients,  December 17, 2017

Articles on Pain Medicine & Opioid Pain Management

Balancing Pain Treatment with Risks of Comorbid Substance Use Disorder for Patients with Serious Illness, By Diane E. Meier and Larry Beresford, Center to Advance Palliative Care, December 10, 2018

Hospice and Palliative Care Providers Eye Opioid Restrictions Warily, California State University Institute for Palliative Care, Palliative Care Education – Anytime, Anywhere blog page, October 24, 2018.

Balancing Opioid Addiction Risk with Pain Management Needs, The Rheumatologist Magazine, February 18, 2018

Looking for Balance in Prescribing Opioids, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Quartelry Newsletter, Summer 2018."

Pain vs Overdose: Hospitalists Are Caught in the MiddleMedscape, August 12, 2016.

Confronting the Epidemic of Opioid Overdoses: Health plan efforts include identifying at-risk members and prescribers who write an unusually large number of opioid prescriptions. Managed Care Magazine, June 19, 2015.

Other Published Articles

How can doctors share bad news with patients? Medical News Today, July 24, 2017

Why end-of-life care planning is a necessary service. Medical Economics: December 25, 2017

Is end-of-life planning truly necessary? Medical Economics, October 16, 2017.

Why have EHRs failed to deliver their promised efficiency benefits? Medical Economics, January 16, 2017

Pain vs Overdose: Hospitalists Are Caught in the Middle, Medscape, August 2016

Top facts primary care physicians need to know about hospice care, Medical Economics, July 2016

How to avoid the corrosive effects of physician burnout, Medical Economics, April 2016

Anesthesiology News and Pain Medicine News:

  • “Palliative ‘Practice Pathway’ Window Soon May Be Shut,” March 2010

  • “Creativity for Pain Relief Needed in Palliative Care,” December 2008

  • “FOCUS Takes Aim at Safer Cardiac Surgery,” October 2008

  • “Can Mt. Everest Yield Clues to Critical Care at Sea Level?” July 2008

  • “‘Great’ Debate Explores Controversies in Fluid Replacement,” July 2008

  • “Palliative Medicine New Career Path for Anesthesiologists,” May 2008

Site-Based Reports and White Papers:

  • One Patient, One Day: Making Your Hospice a Leader in End-of-Life Care, a manual on how to grow hospice programs, co-authored with Jay Mahoney and Mary Michal.

  • Caring for Kids: How to Develop a Home-based Support Program, a manual and CD-ROM published by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

  • VA Transforms End-of-Life Care for Veterans, a report issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs and NHPCO.

  • Financial Implications of Promoting Excellence in End-of-Life Care, from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Promoting Excellence in End-of-Life Care National Program Office.

  • Care in the ICU: Teaming Up to Improve Quality, National Coalition on Health Care.

  • Hospital-Hospice Partnerships in Palliative Care: Creating a Continuum of Service, Center to Advance Palliative Care.

  • “Improving Care at the End of Life: What Has the Kevorkian Case Taught Us?” Special Supplement to Advances, Issue 2, 1999, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.



The HPM Practitioner: Business/Practice News and Views for Physicians in Hospice and Palliative Medicine is a series of interviews with working hospice and palliative medicine physicians about their positions, practices and businesses. Published by the DAI Palliative Care Group, it captured the emergence of a medical specialty as it started to stretch its wings


Recent Clients

In addition to the health care trade magazine work sampled on this website, Larry’s other writing and/or editing clients have included:

  • Altarum Institute

  • Veterans Administration

  • The Center to Advance Palliative Care

  • The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and National Hospice Foundation

  • VITAS Innovative Hospice Care

  • The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

  • The Open Society Institute

  • The Society for Critical Care Medicine

  • The National Hospice Work Group

  • The Hospice Foundation of America

  • Hope Hospice & Palliative Care

  • The California Coalition for Compassionate Care

  • Summit Business Group

  • Health Industry Distributors Association’ Resources Publishing (Hospice Letter)

  • American Health Consultants (Hospice Management Advisor)