More People Dying in Hospitals, Not Home for End-of-Life Care

Shortcomings in educating consumers about their end-of-life care options continues to skew the number of people dying in costlier institutions like hospitals, rather than less costly and often more comfortable settings like the home, according to a report from Kaiser Health News.

The reasons many are choosing hospitals over the home to receive end-of-life care are many, the article suggests, primarily due to the culture of local health systems.

“The result: More people dying in the hospital, often in an intensive care unit on a ventilator or feeding tube; more doctor visits leading to tests, treatments and drug prescriptions; and more money being spent by the government, private insurers and patients themselves,” KHN writes.

The causation of this phenomena may be due less to people’s personal preferences than as a result of a large supply of hospital beds in an area.

“One of the truisms of healthcare is that whatever resources are available, or whatever beds are built, they tend to get filled,” said Dr. David Goodman, who studies end-of-life-care at Dartmouth College’s Geisel School of Medicine, in the article.

Advocates for palliative care have recently called for an overhaul to end-of-life care options in efforts to raise greater awareness of this care delivery type and recommend where systematic changes should be implanted to ensure greater access and acknowledgment of end-of-life care as an alternative to more receiving care in more institutionalized settings.

Read more at Kaiser Health News.

Written by Jason Oliva

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