L.A. leads US in Medicare spending on end-of-life care
Sixty percent more money was spent in the Los Angeles area on chronically ill patients in their final years than the national average, according to new data on Medicare patients released Wednesday. Spending in the last two years of life was about $112,000 per patient in Los Angeles, compared to about $70,000 on average across the country, the report by the Dartmouth Atlas Project showed. From 2007 to 2010, Medicare spending on end-of-life care rose by 15% nationwide. The jump occurred despite more patients enrolling in hospice care, fewer patients dying at the hospital and patients spending fewer days in the hospital in the last six months of life.
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