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Black patients less likely to use hospice, study finds

Mackenzie Bean –
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Racial disparities are still very evident in hospice care despite a nationwide increase in hospice use over the past few decades, a study published in JAMA Network Open found. 

Researchers analyzed data on 1,212 Medicare beneficiaries who died between 2013 and 2015, assessing hospice use and treatment intensity in the last six months of life.  

Black patients were significantly less likely to use hospice for three or more days compared to white patients. They were also more likely to visit the emergency room multiple times, be hospitalized or undergo intensive treatment in their last six months of life.

“More sustained efforts must be made to reduce disparities in end-of-life care through efforts to better educate and train healthcare professionals and to promote the discussion of personal values and treatment preferences for the end of life in Black populations,” researchers concluded.

To view the full study, click here.

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