Study Finds Early Palliative Cancer Care Reduces Costs

A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that a palliative care consultation within three days of hospital admission can reduce the cost of care, particularly for patients with cancer.

The researchers searched the the Embase, PsycINFO, CENTRAL, PubMed, CINAHL, and EconLit databases to identify English-language journal articles using keywords for palliative care and economics. They selected six articles that included 133,118 patients, of whom 93.2% were discharged alive and 40.8% had a primary diagnosis of cancer. Among this population, 3.6% received a palliative care consultation.

Overall, there was a statistically significant reduction in costs (−$3,237; P<0.001). This reduction was increased for patients with cancer (−$4,251; P<0.001), compared with those without cancer (−$2,105; P<0.001).

Source: JAMA Internal Medicine