Medicare and Chronic Illness Death
End-of-Life Care Facts
According to the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, below are some important end-of-life-care facts:
- More than 90 million Americans live with at least one chronic illness.
- Seven out of ten Americans die from chronic disease.
- Among the Medicare population, the toll is even greater.
- Patients with chronic illness in their last two years of life account for about 32% of total Medicare spending, much of it going toward physician and hospital fees associated with repeated hospitalizations.
- About nine out of ten deaths are associated with just nine chronic illnesses, including:
1. Congestive heart failure
2. Chronic lung disease
4. Coronary artery disease
5. Renal failure
6. Peripheral vascular disease
8. Chronic liver disease
What do patients want at the end of life?
Do they want their physicians to do everything possible to extend life? Do they want more time in the hospital? If additional treatments offer little possibility of benefit, do they want more invasive care? Research suggests that the care they get is not necessarily the care they want.
To read more about these end-of-life care facts at the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, click here