"Heart Failure Patients Enrolled in Hospice Use Less Health Care"
Studies have shown that patients with advanced heart failure enrolled in hospice, have fewer emergency department visits, hospital days, and intensive care unit (ICU). Laura P. Gelfman, MD, MPH., from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, and colleagues used a propensity-score matched sample of Medicare decedents with two or more heart failure discharges within six months to identify predictors of hospice enrollment for heart failure patients and to compare hospitalizations, ICU stays, and emergency department visits for those enrolled and not enrolled in hospice. While there was no observable difference in characteristics, symptom burden, or functional status between the groups that were associated in hospice, the hospice group was shown to have significantly fewer emergency department visits, hospital days, and ICU stays. A tailored hospice model may be needed to increase enrollment and offer benefits to a heart failure population.
- Laura P. Gelfman, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Internal Medicine, Mount Sinai Queens, Mount Sinai Beth Israel