Longer periods of hospice associated with lower healthcare costs

A study published in the February 2017 issue of Health Affairs found that increased use of hospice care can reduce healthcare spending in areas of the U.S. with high medical costs.

The study gathers data from 2004-2011, which includes 103,745 Medicare beneficiaries.

Researchers of the study concluded that if hospice care was used more and for longer in high-cost areas, it could have a substantial effect on the healthcare economy on a national scale. Physicians in high-cost areas tend to suggest treatments that have less evidence-based backing than physicians in low–cost areas–one of the reason the impact is so great in high-cost areas.

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