More patients reaching hospice, but often for short time

From 2000 to 2009, the percent of Medicare beneficiaries who died in hospice nearly doubled, reaching 42.2%, but 28.4% of those who received hospice services did so for less than three days, and transfers from an ICU were common, according to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association. While hospice care for even a day may be beneficial, Brown University researchers wrote, "an important yet unanswered research question is whether this pattern of care is consistent with patient preferences and improved quality of life."

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Medscape (free registration) · USA Today · Kaiser Health News · Politico (Washington, D.C.)

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