Physician Characteristics Strongly Predict Patient Enrollment In Hospice

Physician Characteristics Strongly Predict Patient Enrollment In Hospice

The whole notion of physician engagement , patient autonomy, building a team, sharing “captain of the ship” engaging family from the very first start, assigning a family scribe. addressing living wills and medical power of Attorneys up front, never hiding information, promising to never abandon the patient or let their pain go unheeded and untreated and gently with grace but soft persistence addressing both self talk and spirituality and LOVE:- all of this is covered in  depth in the Book When Tumor is the Rumor and Cancer is the Answer; a comprehensive guide for newly diagnosed cancer patients and their families


Individual physicians are widely believed to play a large role in patients’ decisions about end-of-life care, but little empirical evidence supports this view. We developed a novel method for measuring the relationship between physician characteristics and hospice enrollment, in a nationally representative sample of Medicare patients. We focused on patients who died with a diagnosis of poor-prognosis cancer in the period 2006–11, for whom palliative treatment and hospice would be considered the standard of care. We found that the proportion of a physician’s patients who were enrolled in hospice was a strong predictor of whether or not that physician’s other patients would enroll in hospice. ( DR; ATTITUDES MATTER IMMENSELY) The magnitude of this association was larger than that of other known predictors of hospice enrollment that we examined, including patients’ medical comorbidity, age, race, and sex. Patients cared for by medical oncologists and those cared for in not-for-profit hospitals were significantly more likely than other patients to enroll in hospice. LET THAT SINK IN  These findings suggest that physician characteristics are among the strongest predictors of whether a patient receives hospice care—which mounting evidence indicates can improve care quality and reduce costs. EXACTLY AS STATED IN THE BOOK, DOING THE RIGHT AND HUMANE THINGS all the way through the patient’s journey saves money and heartache Interventions geared toward physicians, both by specialty and by previous history of patients’ hospice enrollment, may help optimize appropriate hospice

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