Minority patients less interested in hospice care

Racial and ethnic minorities are less likely than white patients to choose palliative care in the last six months of life, says a study of Medicare beneficiaries published in The American Heart Journal.

After adjusting for the characteristics of about 220,000 Medicare heart-failure patients studied, the nonwhite patients were 20% less likely to enter hospice care. The disparities in end-of-life care did not end there. Among patients who opted for hospice, minorities were likelier to visit the emergency department and stay in the intensive care unit. Nonwhites also were about 40% likelier to disenroll — or leave — hospice, the study said.

My latest. Read the whole shebang.