Study: Hospice Care Doesn’t Bring Down Medicare Costs
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine raises questions about some of the conventional wisdom surrounding hospice care.
Why The Conventional Wisdom On Hospice Care Was Wrong
Conventional wisdom has been that hospice care at the end of life will improve someone’s final days and save money. It’s certainly cheaper to have a team of caregivers check on someone a few times a day compared to stays in intensive care units. But it turns out that was wrong, according to a New England Journal of Medicine report out Wednesday. (Gorenstein, 5/6)
Shift Toward Hospice Care Has Increased Medicare Costs
The popularity of hospice care grew between 2004 and 2009 but that didn't bring down Medicare costs for people dying in nursing homes, according to a new study of three quarters of a million U.S. nursing home residents. "We found that although hospice use was associated with a reduction in aggressive end-of-life care, it was also associated with a net increase of $6,761 in Medicare expenditures per decedent in the last year of life,” writes the research team, led by Dr. Pedro Gozalo of Brown University. (Emery, 5/6)