Facilities adding hospice care reduce hospitalizations

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Integrating hospice care into nursing home care reduces hospitalizations among residents in their final days, a new study finds.

Doctors at Brown Medical School conclude that having access to hospice care in a nursing home reduces by half residents' chances of being admitted to a hospital during their last 30 days of life. That compares to their peers who did not receive hospice care.

Researchers also found that while the majority of nursing homes have arrangements to provide hospice care, residents may not have access to such care. This could occur if caregivers fail to identify the need for hospice among other reasons.

An abstract of the study, which was funded by the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality, is available at http://www.ahrq.gov/research/oct01/1001RA17.htm .