Trends in end-of-life care show that not only does the care given vary widely from region to region and hospital to hospital, but also patients often don't get the care they prefer. What can be done?
End-of-Life Care in California: You Don't Always Get What You Want (4.15 MB)
All Palliative Care Is Local: An Interview with Dr. Steve Pantilat (698 K)
End-of-Life Care in California: Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care Data File (106 K)
Californians frequently do not get the kind of care that they want at the end of their lives. This report documents research on end-of-life care for Medicare beneficiaries, and analyzes it in light of what is known about Californians' preferences for care as they approach death. The research found sharp variation that cannot be explained by differences among patients in age, sex, or race.
In general, the overall intensity of the care rose; dying patients in the hospital had many more physician visits on average, and they spent more days in an intensive care unit (ICU). Highlights from the findings include the following:
The report includes maps, figures, and tables depicting end-of-life care by region and by hospital in California.
The complete report is available as a Document Download.
Briefing — Closing the Gap: Ending Variation in End-of-Life Care in California