National Healthcare Decisions Day: 11 statistics on end-of-life decision making

Thursday marks the eighth annual National Healthcare Decisions Day — a nationwide initiative to raise awareness about the need for clear, concise and consistent information for patients to make healthcare decisions, especially for end-of-life care.

To honor these physician-patient conversations, here are 11 statistics to know about the current state of healthcare decision making, as presented by patient engagement technology provider Emmi Solutions.

  • Only 20 percent of Americans have an advanced directive documenting their wishes for end-of-life medical care.
  • 60 percent of Americans would like their end-of-life preferences followed.
  • More than one-third of physicians are not able to accurately predict patient end-of-life wishes.
  • 88 percent of patients who do have an advanced directive did not receive any input from their physicians on it.
  • Just 44 percent of patients who discuss end-of-life care with their provider complete an advance directive.
  • Those who did not complete an advance directive cited reasons of lack of familiarity (60 percent), belief they are too young or healthy (14 percent) or the uncertainty of using them (11 percent).
  • 86 percent of Medicare patients would rather spend their final days at home than in a hospital or nursing home.
  • 84 percent of Medicare patients did not want life-prolonging drugs if it lowered their quality of life.
  • 77 percent of Medicare patient said they would not want a ventilator, even it would extend their life by one month.
  • 25 percent of healthcare costs are spent on patients in their last months of life.
  • It is 67 percent less expensive to treat a patient in hospice, than in a non-hospice setting.


More articles on integration and physician issues:

Yale's online PA program denied accreditation
Bridging the divide: How the level of physician engagement can make or break your hospital
Dallas "Uber Doctor" launches app for house calls

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