Study: Higher spending for end-of-life care doesn't offer higher care quality

A new study published in Health Affairs underscores a principle that has been shown to apply to the entire U.S. healthcare system--that greater spending doesn't equal better care. The study, which was conducted by researchers from the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, looked at the difference in quality of care between higher and lower spending on end-of-life care. 

The calculations taken included the cost of varied resources including specialists, tests and hospital departments. To measure quality, they looked at process-of-care measures for acute myocardial infarction, pneumonia and heart failure. They based their analysis on data for 2,712 U.S. hospitals from the CMS Hospital Compare website, as well as Medicare spending reports.

The researchers found that hospitals spending more on care didn't necessarily perform better on quality measures. In fact, they found that hospitals spending less did better in treating patients with AMI and pneumonia.

To learn more about the study:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)

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