The Move to Hospice Care

Although most individuals would want to die quietly in a relaxed establishment, a new research reveals that almost one in three spend some time in the intensive-care unit of a hospital in their last month of life, while a similar number only get hospice care a few days before passing away. And 40 percent of those late hospice care recommendations come right after an ICU stay, the researchers mentioned. “People end up with these very brief stays in hospice care,” said research writer Dr. Joan Teno, a lecturer of health services, plan and practice at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School, in Providence, R.I. “Those brief stays are difficult on the sufferers and the family members. They don’t benefit from hospice’s psychosocial assistance for sufferers and their loved ones.”


Another professional put it this way: “I think what has occurred is that we’re using hospice care as a last resort. It’s something we do when individuals have gotten so bad that they can’t reply to any possible involvement,” said Dr. Mary Tinetti, chief of geriatrics and lecturer of internal medicine and public health at the Yale University School of Medicine and Yale New Haven Hospital. “Hospice care should be used as a treatment for those who are targeted on total well being,” said Tinetti, who is also the co-author of an article associated with the research. “Some individuals are going to want to have access to modern care prior to the process.”

The research analyzed a unique sample of 20 % of fee-for-service Medicare recipients who passed away in 2000, 2005 and 2009. Each year, fewer individuals passed away in the medical center, according to the research. In 2000, 32.6 % passed away in the medical center. In 2005, 26.9 % passed away under hospice care and 24.6 % did so during 2009. At one time, however, the use of the intensive-care unit in the last 30 days of life increased for every time frame. In 2000, 24.3 % of individuals were in the ICU in their last month. By 2005, that number was 26.3 %, and during 2009, it had increased to 29.2 %.

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