Early research has suggested that palliative care specialists help patients in hospital or outpatient settings get better control of pain and other symptoms while opting for less intensive care. Now one of the first studies of the effect of palliative care consults in nursing homes finds that the practice is associated with less hospitalizations and intensive treatment.
A study of more than 1,500 people in Rhode Island and North Carolina finds these benefits accrued at no net additional cost to Medicare.
“These findings have never been shown in nursing homes,” said study corresponding author Susan Miller, a Brown University gerontologist and School of Public Health professor. “It’s important that we document this because essentially when people are in the nursing home for a long stay, that’s their final residence. These are people in need of supportive care and expertise in palliative care.” The results appear in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Click here to read more.