NPR Highlights the Importance of End-of-Life Care Planning
As healthcare has evolved, it has resulted in people living much longer lives, and dying as a result of chronic illnesses. This has led to an increased need to discuss a patient’s wishes when it comes to end-of-life care. National Public Radio (NPR) recently published an article discussing just how important these conversations are.
The piece discusses cases in which a patient ends up in the ICU where they undergo aggressive and costly treatment in spite of the fact that they are at the end of their life when there is an alternative. It is important for patients and their families to work with doctors to make decisions that will promote comfort at the end of life.
The piece also highlighted the financial aspects of end of life care. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Medicare spending was seven times higher for patients who died, within a year of receiving long term inpatient care, than for those who survived. While most patients say they would like to die at home, for many that is not the case.
CHAP has covered this topic in the past and has stressed the importance of discussing end of life care planning as soon as possible with family and loved ones. We encourage the agencies we serve to promote this conversation to ensure when the time comes, patients and their family are at peace.