Benefits of Early Palliative Care for Cancer Extend Beyond Clinical Care

Palliative care consultation (PCC) conducted within 3 days of hospital admission may decrease the cost of care for adult patients with severe illnesses, particularly among those with cancer, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The growing costs and diminishing returns associated with patients facing serious and complex diseases are of significant concern in health care. Previous studies have shown that PCC may reduce hospital costs, but due to various factors, such as heterogeneity of methodology and a failure to consider patient characteristics, its impact has not been completely understood.

For this meta-analysis, researchers analyzed 6 cohort studies that encompassed the outcomes of 133,118 patients with serious illnesses (cancer; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; neurodegenerative conditions; AIDS/HIV; and heart, liver, or kidney failure) to assess the effect of PCC within 3 days of admission on direct hospital costs.

Of the study population, 93.2% were discharged alive, 40.8% had a primary diagnosis of cancer; only 3.6% had received PCC. Click here to read more.

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