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Medicare: Barrier to hospice increases hospitalization
Date:10/31/2012

after SNF were 37 percent less likely than those without hospice to experience persistent difficulty breathing, or dyspnea, but residents with concurrent hospice and SNF had no significant difference in their experience of this problem. With persistent pain, those with hospice after SNF were not less likely to experience it than residents with no hospice, but those with concurrent SNF and hospice were 65 percent more likely to experience pain.

Miller said that the pain comparison, in particular, is puzzling because of the subjectivity of measuring pain and the likelihood that people who elect hospice care do so in part because of elevated levels of pain.

Overall, Miller said, the results show that the Medicare rule that reduces access to hospice at end of life significantly affects the treatment nursing home residents receive.

Whether it is worth it, from a cost perspective, to change the policy, is not clear, Miller said. The ACA-mandated demonstration will help answer that. But evidence from prior studies suggests that Medicare does tend to save money when nursing home residents do not have long hospice stays. Miller said she plans future studies to look at costs and alternative ways to bring palliative care to nursing home patients with advanced dementia.


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Contact: David Orenstein
david_orenstein@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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