Race affects end-of-life care, study finds

Share this article:
Racial disparities still exist when it comes to end-of-life care, a new study suggests. The study found that black and Asian patients are less likely than whites and Hispanics to be enrolled in a hospice program in the final months of life.

Of the roughly 41,000 terminal cancer patients examined for the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center study, black patients were 9% less likely to be enrolled in a hospice program than white patients. Also, 26% were more likely to be hospitalized two or more times in the last month of life than whites. Similarly, Asian patients were 24% less likely to enroll in hospice than whites, and 17% were more likely to be hospitalized, according to the research. Both groups were also much more likely to die in the hospital than whites or Hispanics.

Researchers suggest a number of factors could be involved in the disparities. Many recent studies find black patients to be less open to hospice care than white patients. But researchers noted that little is known about the proclivities of Asian patients. Discovering the root of the differences, whether personal preference, unequal access to end-of-life treatments or both will hopefully lead to improved end-of-life care for all patients, researchers say. Their study appears in the January issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Share this article:

More in News

CMS updates coding instructions for hospice site of service, principal diagnosis

CMS updates coding instructions for hospice site of ...

A new Medicare hospice manual update includes instructions for which principal diagnosis codes are acceptable, and clarifies which codes should be used for services in a skilled versus non-skilled nursing ...

Vast majority of nursing home residents chronically constipated, and it's not well ...

Chronic constipation is highly prevalent in nursing homes and not well controlled, leading to a high likelihood that residents develop fecal impaction, according to findings from a first-of-its kind study.

Federal judge dismisses nursing home 'kickback' case; upholds large X-ray company's 'swapping' ...

The way mobile x-ray company Mobilex bills nursing homes is acceptable, a federal judge recently determined. Mobilex is the nation's largest provider of mobile diagnostic services. It had been facing whistleblower charges that it effectively paid kickbacks to nursing homes through an arrangement known as ...