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

ive 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



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

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