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February 6, 2013

Changes in End-of-Life Care Over the Past Decade: More Not Better

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Medicine, Yale School of Medicine (Drs Jenq and Tinetti), Yale School of Public Health (Dr Tinetti), New Haven, Connecticut.

JAMA. 2013;309(5):489-490. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.73

In this issue of JAMA, the report by Teno and colleagues1 compared sites of death and health care received in the months prior to death among a total of nearly 850 000 US Medicare beneficiaries who died in 2000, 2005, and 2009. More people died at home or hospice as the decade progressed. Simultaneously, the proportion of people who died in acute care hospitals decreased from 32.6% in 2000 to 24.6% in 2009. The percentage of patients receiving hospice services at the time of death doubled over the decade, from 21.6% in 2000 to 42.2% in 2009.1