According to a new report released by the Dartmouth Atlas Project, the number of Medicare cancer patients receiving hospice care is on the rise, but the patients often do not receive the care until the very end of their lives, reports Bloomberg. Also increasing is the number of cancer patients receiving treatment in intensive care units during the last month of their lives, the article notes.
The report notes that instead of receiving hospice or palliative care, end-of-life cancer care often includes invasive hospital treatments such as feeding tubes or intubation, Bloomberg explains. “We’re seeing some pretty rapid changes in patterns of care, but the move toward the care that most patients prefer is happening very unevenly, at the same time that many patients are receiving more aggressive in-patient care and less-effective hospice care,” David Goodman, co-principal investigator of the report, tells Bloomberg. Goodman is the director of the Center for Health Policy Research at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice.
Read the full story, published 9/5/13 by Bloomberg.