KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

End-Of-Life Care: Study Finds Quality Improving But Costs Increasing

A brief by the Dartmouth Institute finds that Medicare spending for chronically ill patients at the end of life went up more than 15 percent from 2007 to 2010.

The Medicare NewsGroup: End-Of-Life Care Improves But Costs Increase, Study Finds
Improvements in end-of-life care have occurred rapidly for Medicare patients but costs have increased, according to a new Dartmouth Institute brief that was released today. The study revealed that beneficiaries in their last six months of life spent fewer days in the hospital and that more patients received hospice services in 2010 as compared to 2007. However Medicare spending for chronically ill patients at the end of life increased more than 15 percent during that time period, while the consumer price index rose only 5.3 percent (Mitchell, 6/12).

Los Angeles Times: Los Angeles Leads Nation In Medicare Spending On End-Of-Life Care
More money was spent in the Los Angeles area on chronically ill patients in their final years than anywhere else in the United States, according to new data on Medicare patients released Wednesday. Spending in the last two years of life was about $112,000 per patient in Los Angeles as of 2010, about 60 percent higher than the national average, the report by the Dartmouth Atlas Project showed (Gorman, 6/12).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.