Analysis Of End-Of-Life Care, Out-Of-Pocket Spending, And Place Of Death In 16 European Countries And Israel [International Experience]

from Health Affairs at on July 5, 2017 at 08:28PM

In Europe the aging of the population will pose considerable challenges to providing high-quality end-of-life care. The complexity of providing care and the large spectrum of actors involved make it difficult to understand the care pathways and how these are influenced by financial and institutional factors. We examined a large, multicountry data set with waves of data from the period 2006–13 to determine the differences in health care usage, out-of-pocket spending, and place of death in sixteen European countries and Israel. Our results reveal the importance of the funding mechanisms of long-term care. They also illuminate the effect of patients’ characteristics on end-of-life care pathways. We found that in countries where public financing and organization of long-term care are particularly strong, patients at the end of life are more likely to have reduced hospitalizations and a higher share of out-of-hospital deaths. Understanding end-of-life care patterns is crucial to developing policies to address the urgent public health priority that this aspect of health care presents.