Author: Patients face choice between hospice, nursing home

A study found that a third of older patients discharged from the hospital with less than six months to live choose to go to a nursing home even though hospice services may be better for some end-of-life care needs, writes Paula Span, author of "When the Time Comes: Families With Aging Parents Share Their Struggles and Solutions." Medicare usually does not pay for both nursing home and hospice care at the same time, leaving patients and families with difficult financial and care decisions. Candid conversations with physicians can help, Span writes.

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