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Aggressive End-of-Life Care in the Veterans Health Administration versus Fee-for-Service Medicare among Patients with Advanced Lung Cancer.

Presley CJ, Kaur K, Han L, Soulos PR, Zhu W, Corneau E, O'Leary JR, Chao H, Shamas T, Rose MG, Lorenz KA, Levy CR, Mor V, Gross CP. Aggressive End-of-Life Care in the Veterans Health Administration versus Fee-for-Service Medicare among Patients with Advanced Lung Cancer. Journal of palliative medicine. 2022 Jun 1; 25(6):932-939.

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Abstract:

Unlike fee-for-service Medicare, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) allows for the provision of concurrent care, incorporating cancer treatment while in hospice. We compared trends of aggressive care at end of life between Medicare and VHA decedents with advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer from 2006 to 2012, and the relation between regional level end-of-life care between Medicare and VHA beneficiaries. Among 18,371 Veterans and 25,283 Medicare beneficiaries, aggressive care at end of life decreased 15% in VHA and 4% in SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results)-Medicare (? < 0.001). Hospice use significantly increased within both cohorts (VHA 28%-41%; SM 60%-73%, ? < 0.001). Veterans receiving care in regions with higher hospice admissions among Medicare beneficiaries were significantly less likely to receive aggressive care at end of life (adjusted odds ratio: 0.13, 95% confidence interval: 0.08-0.23, ? < 0.001). Patients receiving lung cancer care in the VHA had a greater decline in aggressive care at end of life, perhaps due to increasing concurrent care availability.





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