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Cost Savings Associated with Palliative Care 

Cost Savings Associated with Palliative Care
Cost Savings Associated with Palliative Care

Breffni Hannon

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date: 16 December 2019

Although the clinical benefits associated with hospital-based palliative care (PC) consultation teams are well established, few studies address the potential economic impact of these services. This study aimed to examine the effect of hospital-based PC teams on hospital costs for patients who died in the hospital, as well as for those discharged alive. Eight diverse hospital settings with established PC teams were chosen, and administrative data relating to direct costs (including laboratory, diagnostic imaging, pharmacy, and intensive care unit [ICU] costs) were analyzed. Propensity scoring was used to match PC patients with usual care (UC) patients. Of 2,630 PC patients who were discharged alive, net savings of $2,642 per admission were calculated, compared with 18,427 UC patients. For the 2,278 PC patients who died in the hospital, savings of $4,908 per admission were seen, when compared with 2,124 UC patients, confirming the additional economic benefits associated with hospital-based PC teams.

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