Innovations conference hears how less treatment is leading to better care

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 23 December 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c7363
  1. Bob Roehr
  1. 1Washington DC

More treatment does not automatically equal better care, particularly at the end of life, according to initial results from a pilot programme in Sacramento California.

Data from the first 10 months of the pilot show that giving patients more options, such as home healthcare, palliative care, and hospice care, cut hospitalisations by almost 70% among this “sickest of the sick population” resulting in savings of “about $2000 (£1293; $1522) per person per month,” said the lead researcher.

The study was presented at a conference on innovations in improving the quality and efficiency of delivering healthcare sponsored by the journal Health Affairs on 16 December in Washington, DC.

Brad Stuart, a doctor with the integrated care system Sutter Medical, which ran the pilot, said that most people prefer not to spend their last days in hospital, and earlier discussion of the options available to them leaves them better prepared to …

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