End-of-Life Costs and Hospice Utilization in Patients with Head and Neck Cancer. Otolaryngology--head and neck surgery : official journal of American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Chen, M. M., Rosenthal, E. L., Divi, V. n. 2019: 194599819846072


The Quality Oncology Practice Initiative has several metrics related to end-of life (EOL) care, including hospice enrollment =3 days, with lower scores signaling better performance. Of privately insured patients with head and neck cancer, 3.5% were enrolled in hospice prior to death and 21.3% spent =3 days in hospice, indicating aggressive EOL care. Patients with late hospice enrollment had higher spending in the last 30 days of life (DOL). Patients in hospice =3 days spent $37,426, while those in hospice >3 days spent $24,418 ( P = .002). The largest portion of this difference was attributable to inpatient services. Patients in hospice =3 days spent $22,089 on inpatient services in the last 30 DOL, while those in hospice >3 days spent $8361 ( P < .001). Further research is needed to determine if more high-value care can be provided with earlier hospice enrollment and to ensure that goal concordance is included in defining high-value care.

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