Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Heatlhcare Dollars Part 2
Bingo....here is where the money goes down the toilet. End of life care.
From the article..."More than 80 percent of such patients say they want to avoid hospitalization and intensive care when they are dying, according to the Dartmouth Atlas Project. Yet the numbers show that's not what is happening: The average time spent in hospice and palliative care, which stresses comfort and quality of life once an illness is incurable, is falling because people are starting it too late. Hospitalizations during the last six months of life are rising. Treating chronic illness in the last two years of life gobbles up nearly one-third of all Medicare dollars."
Half of what we see in the ER is old nursing home gomers trying to die but their families won't let them. So lets just keep fighting so demented old grandma can sit in her chair in the nursing home some more and see them briefly on holidays. It is ridiculous.
Cancer sucks. If you have bad cancer and you are 75...and the treatments aren't working...hang it up and spend your time being comfortable.
I heard a story from a surgeon the other day: An illegal immigrant was shot while committing a crime. He was a vegetable in the trauma ICU. There was no one to "legally" execute a withdrawal of care for this ILLEGAL CRIMINAL IMMIGRANT, so he stayed on a ventilator in the ICU for a year....gobbling up who knows how much money. Finally after a year, the hospital ethics committee and a court agreed to pull the plug on the guy...and he passed shortly after. Glad my tax dollars are well spent.
Long story short.....let's rethink end of life care. Get past all the sensitivities and lets make some progress.
Posted by SerenityNow at 9:34 PM