open menu close menu

Briefing — Closing the Gap: Ending Variation in End-of-Life Care in California

Hear why variation in clinical care at the end of life matters, how patient preferences are often at odds with the care they get, and how new data might support the goals of the Let's Get Healthy California Task Force.

Californians frequently do not get the kind of care that they want at the end of their lives. In a 2012 survey, 70% of respondents said they would want to die at home, yet new data show that compared to the national average, Californians at the end of life experience more deaths in hospitals and more time in the intensive care unit (ICU). The data also reveal wide variation in the use of hospice, hospital, and ICU services in the last six months of life.

The California Health Care Foundation (CHCF) hosted a Sacramento briefing designed for legislative staff and others interested in understanding practice patterns and variation in end-of-life care in the Golden State. Panelists explained why variation in clinical care at the end of life matters, examined how patient preferences are often at odds with the care they get, and explored how the new data might be used to meet the goals set out in the recent Let's Get Healthy California Task Force report.

Learn how addressing unwarranted variation could lead to respecting patients' wishes, more effective expenditures of health care dollars, and a healthier California.

Presenters were, in order of appearance:

  • Mark D. Smith, MD, MBA, founding president and CEO, CHCF
  • David Goodman, MD, MS, director, Center for Health Policy Research at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Research
  • Steve Pantilat, MD, FAAHPM, SFHM, director, Palliative Care Program and Palliative Care Leadership Center at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
  • Lisa Krieger, journalist, San Jose Mercury News

A video of the event and the presentation slides are available below.

Explore
Connect