July 03, 2019

Intensive care and short hospice stays are not what patients want

A Brown University study finds that while hospice use is increasing, patients are still not getting the care they want or the benefits that palliative care can provide. A study published February 6, 2013, in the Journal of the American Medical Association reviewed Medicare fee-for-service records of more than 840,000 people aged 66 or older who died in 2000, 2005, or 2009. Researchers saw a positive trend in the proportion of dying seniors using hospice care, which increased to 42.2 percent in 2009 from 21.6 percent in 2000. However, the proportion who were in intensive care in the last month of life also increased to 24.3 to 29.4 percent. More than a quarter of hospice use was for three days or less, and 40 percent of those late referrals came after a hospitalization with an intensive care stay. 

For more information, visit Brown University's website and The Journal of the American Medical Association