Fewer Americans Are Dying in Hospitals

New statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that during the decade 2000-2010, annual deaths in US hospitals decreased by nearly ten percent.

The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, in its March HCHS Data Brief, the decreases were even more dramatic among specific diseases. The report states that the in-hospital death rate for persons diagnosed with kidney disease decreased 65 percent. The decrease for cancer patients was 46 percent; for pneumonia, 33 percent; and for heart disease, 16 percent.

The drop in hospital deaths was primarily among women, although the HCHS Data Brief did not have a solid reason why. The author of the report, Margaret Jean Hall suggested, “That could just be that there were more older women who were able to be placed in alternative settings, because women live longer. That’s just a hypothesis.”

Because study after study (and our own experience with patients) reveals that most patients would prefer to die at home, we view this information as a positive. Others who have viewed these new stats feel that the decrease should have been greater, based on the increase in the number of hospice patients in America during the period.

A CDC report in February indicated that 33.5 percent of Medicare patients died in their own homes in 2009, compared to 23 percent in 2000. We at Hope Hospice find these trends encouraging and are optimistic that more patients and families will choose hospice for end-of-life care.

We continue to share information about hospice care in general and Hope Hospice care in particular to all who will listen. If your family, your church group or your civic organization wants to know more about hospice, please call Hope Hospice at 314-984-9800 or visit us online at HopeHospiceSTL.com.




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