For patients with advanced chronic illness, does enrollment in a palliative care program promote healthcare cost savings at end-of life compared to those not enrolled in a pall iative care program?
Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Background: The recognition that care for the clinically ill, as they advance through the illness trajectory, is expensive and contributes to the health care spending crisis reinforces the need for cost effective programs that address patient goals and preferences, symptom management and coordination of care while continuing to provide high-quality, cost-effective care
Methods: The objective of this literature review is to determine if enrollment in a palliative care program for patients with advanced chronic illness, promotes healthcare cost savings at end-of life compared to those not enrolled in a palliative care program? Various charge structures and costs were compared in an assortment of settings between patients who received palliative care and patients who received usual care
Results: Through reducing lengths of stay, providing palliative care consultation to avoid unnecessary testing and procedures as well as through care coordination these cost savings result in a viable program with statistically significant health care savings to the hospital and patient. Palliative care services can be provided in a number of settings to a wide population of patients suffering from chronic illness in variety of phases. Health care savings have been found in the inpatient setting, home setting and outpatient setting as discussed in the literature review to follow
Conclusions: Although palliative care is rarely profitable on its own, when associated with a hospital, studies have been found to support both financially and through patient outcomes the existence of a palliative care program. Palliative care programs have shown to be an important alternative to those with chronic illness as well as include cost saving opportunities
Stassen, Debee L., "For patients with advanced chronic illness, does enrollment in a palliative care program promote healthcare cost savings at end-of life compared to those not enrolled in a pall iative care program?" (2013). Theses and Dissertations. 4754.