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Dementia patients face burdensome transitions in last 90 days
Date:9/28/2011

nal rate of burdensome transitions also correlates with other indicators of poor end-of-life care, Gozalo noted. Compared to patients living in the health care markets with the lowest rates of burdensome transitions, those who lived in the regions with the highest rates were three times more likely to have a feeding tube inserted, more than twice as likely to be in the intensive care unit in the last 30 days of life, and more than twice as likely to have developed an advanced pressure ulcer.

Ultimately, Teno said, all of these problems are signs of care gone awry. The best care for a patient with advanced cognitive impairment near the end of life is often to maximize comfort. The burdens of hospitalization usually outweigh the benefits.

"Our research calls for efforts to reform health care payment that create incentives to improve advance care planning and care coordination," Gozalo said. "Current reform efforts like accountable care organizations that bundle both the hospital and post-acute care payments could begin to address some of these perverse incentives. We need financial incentives to make sure that people are getting the right care in the right place at the right time."


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Contact: David Orenstein
david_orenstein@brown.edu
401-527-2525
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert

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