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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

One in Four Medicare Patients with Advanced Cancer Dies in Hospital

A new report from the Dartmouth Atlas Project finds that although the use of hospice care for Medicare patients with advanced cancer is increasing, many patients do not receive hospice care until they are on their deathbed – within three days of the end of life. Paradoxically, the updated data also finds that in 2010, despite increases in the use of hospice care, more patients were also treated in intensive care units (ICUs) in their last month of life than in the period from 2003 to 2007. This report finds that care for elderly patients with cancer continues to not necessarily reflect the patients’ preferences, but the styles of treatment in the regions or healthcare systems where they happen to receive cancer treatment. The report concludes that where patients with advanced cancer live continues to play an important role in the care they receive.