A great deal of health care expense is associated patients who are incapable of making decisions about their care. A New England Journal of Medicine perspective discusses how to handle these patients.
A substantial amount of Medicare and overall health spending is incurred in the last few months of patients’ lives. Much of this spending is due to intensive care that obviously is rather superfluous at that point. A new article in the Journal of Clinical Oncology reports on research regarding end-of-life discussions and resulting care.
Thank God the election is finally over, but our Potpourri is never-ending, this week bringing you the latest on why comparative effectiveness research results don’t translate to practice, innovations to reduce health spending, the value of medication adherence, factors related to end-of-life quality and MedPAC on new quality measures for avoidable hospital and ER use.
Another installment of our non-award winning (are there any potential awards?) Potpourri, this one examining drug costs for conditions of aging, self-referral in imaging, in home palliative care at the end-of-life, more on hospital readmissions and retail clinic utilization.
Another sunny Potpourri, brightening your day with rays of data on hospital at home; Medicare care coordination programs; an employer survey on impacts of the reform law; a survey on health habits and employee productivity; first quarter health plan results and ER use and end-of-life care.
With palliative care, hospitals can avoid needless tests and procedures, in part, because patients no longer want them. Palliative care is the comprehensive treatment focused on pain, symptoms and stress of serious illness, or even spiritual assistance for the very sick. Some studies have shown it can extend life.
Hospice marketers, exploring possibilities for new revenue to help continue the industry’s remarkable growth, are looking to exploit a provision in the 2010 health care law by persuading hospitals to send Medicare patients into end-of-life hospice care instead of readmitting them to the hospital.
End-of-life care accounts for a large fraction of health spending. Often decisions regarding such care are made by surrogates and new research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggest that analytical biases lead these surrogates to misinterpret information provided by physicians.