Aggressive end-of-life care for Medicare dialysis patients is pervasive

Patients on dialysis are subject to much more intensive medical care in the last month of life than are patients dying of cancer or heart failure, said an analysis of Medicare data that is raising concerns about the end-of-life care that patients with end-stage renal disease receive.

Nearly 80% of Medicare patients on dialysis were hospitalized in the 30 days before death and spent twice as many days in the hospital as patients dying of cancer, said a research letter published April 23 in Archives of Internal Medicine that was based on data from nearly 100,000 patients from the U.S. Renal Data System and Medicare between 2004 and 2009.

My latest. Read the whole shebang.