Navigation Links
Discussions About End-of-Life Care Reduce Healthcare Costs in Last Week of Life
Date:3/19/2009

NHPCO Encourages Dialog between Patients and Physicians

ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Patients with advanced cancer who reported talking about their end-of-life wishes with their physicians had significantly lower healthcare costs in the last week of life. Researchers found that these conversations between patients and physicians led to fewer cases of aggressive care, which saved money and resulted in a far more peaceful death for patients.

The study in the March 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine suggests a tangible benefit to advance care planning discussions with physicians -- lower costs and reduced utilization of aggressive care, including admission to the Intensive Care Unit.

Thirty percent of Medicare's annual costs are spent on the five percent of beneficiaries who will die in a given year. Additionally, about one-third of those dollars spent in the last year of life are spent in the last month.

"Discussions about care at the end of life result in a higher quality of life for patients -- and cost the healthcare system less money, that is something that hospice and palliative care providers have long known," said J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

A 2007 study out of Duke University found hospice saves Medicare about $2,300 per beneficiary that receives hospice care.

Researchers in this recent survey looking at costs in the last week of life indicate that if 50 percent of people had a discussion with their physician about end-of-life care preferences, the cost difference in a year could be more than $76 million dollars.

Study participants who discussed end-of-life care preferences were more likely to be referred to hospice sooner than those who did not.

"In fact, patients who received less invasive or aggressive treatments lived as long as patients who did not, indicating that attempts to prolong life in end-stage cancer patients might be futile," noted Schumacher.

Research published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management (March 2007) found that Medicare beneficiaries who opted for hospice care at the end of life lived on average 29 days longer than similar patients who did not take advantage of hospice.

NHPCO has been a longtime advocate for people having frank discussions about the care they would want -- primarily to ensure that a person's wishes are honored and that they experience the highest quality of life possible.

"An important time to talk to your doctor about the kind of care you would want at the end of your life is not when you're days away from death but much earlier in the course of an illness," said Schumacher.

"In fact, I cannot stress the importance of advance care planning for all people. Taking time, right now, to have these discussions with family and loved ones can be very important in making sure wishes are honored should a medical crisis come along," added Schumacher.

Last year, more than 1.4 million Americans with life-limiting illness received the quality care from the nation's 4,700 hospice care providers.

Information on care at the end of life, starting these important conversations with loved ones and care providers, and state specific advance directive forms, are all available free-of-charge on NHPCO's Caring Connections Web site, www.caringinfo.org, or from the Helpline at 800-658-8898.

    Contact:
    Jon Radulovic
    NHPCO Vice President of Communications
    Ph: 703-837-3139
    jradulovic@nhpco.org



'/>"/>
SOURCE National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Interview with GI Experts: Discussions in Clostridium difficile
2. State Budget Discussions Must be Broadened to Include Revenue Options
3. Patients Benefit From End-of-Life Discussions With a Doctor
4. Anthem Blue Cross Statement on Settlement Discussions with the California Department of Managed Health Care
5. New Blog Provides Forum for Discussions on Supplement Safety
6. Finding the right words: Provider-patient discussions can help domestic violence victims speak up
7. Air Products in Advanced Discussions With Wacker Over Polymers Business
8. New Survey: Top Lesson from Seniors About Economic Worries? Gratitude Trumps Fear
9. Student Contest Winners Educate Peers About the Dangers of MRSA Through Art, Video, and Essay
10. Pregnant? Curious About the Babys Gender? Know if Its a Boy or Girl at Six Weeks With IntelliGenders(R) In-Home Gender Prediction Test(TM) Now Available at All Walgreens Stores
11. John McEnroe is Serious About Getting Men to Take the 50 Over 50 Prostate Health Challenge
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice ... "Film editors can give their videos a whole new perspective by using the ... of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets to ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to Dr. Jessica Scruggs ... for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to include Mohs surgery, ... Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of Glenn Goldstein, MD, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Dr. Calvin Johnson has dedicated his ... implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating his patients. The procedure is ... to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that orthopaedic surgeons use to help ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle ... chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of ... Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited ... To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. ... highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- The vast majority of dialysis patients currently receive ... usually 3 times a week, with treatment times averaging ... equipment preparation and wait time.  This regimen can be ... who are elderly and frail.  Many elderly dialysis patients ... for some duration of time. Residents in ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  Experian Health, the healthcare ... the patient payment and care experience, today ... products and services that will enhance the ... offerings. These award-winning solutions will enable healthcare ... compliant in an ever-changing environment and redefine ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  The National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) today announced ... research organization as its newest member.  ... president and chief scientific officer, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, will ... Board of Directors. ... us in support of our efforts to conduct ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: