Patients With Dementia Hospitalized Unnecessarily
One-fifth of Medicare nursing home patients with advanced Alzheimer's or other dementias were sent to hospitals or other nursing homes for questionable reasons in their final months, according to a study
published in the New England Journal of Medicine
Researchers from Harvard University and Dartmouth Medical School studied almost 475,000 patients, and found that 19 percent were moved for questionable reasons. Transfer rates went from 2 percent in Alaska to more than 37 percent in Louisiana.
The researchers used Medicare records from 2000 through 2007 to identify "burdensome" transitions of care: moving patients in the last three days of life, moving them multiple times in the last three months of life, or moving them so they went to a new nursing home afterward.
To read about the suspected rationale for such transfers, click here for the article from MSNBC.com.