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New Study Linking End-of-Life Directives With Hospitalization Has Implications for California

A study released this month found that nursing home patients who participate in a program that lets them record their end-of-life treatment wishes are much more likely to get those wishes met.

The Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment program, or POLST, allows patients to specify the type of end-of-life care they want. The study found that patients with a POLST were 59% less likely to get unwanted hospitalizations and medical interventions.

In a California Healthline Special Report by Mina Kim, researchers and geriatric experts discuss the study and its implications for California.

The Special Report includes comments from:

  • Kenneth Brummel-Smith, chair of the Department of Geriatrics at Florida State University College of Medicine;
  • Judy Citko, executive director of the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California; and
  • Jeffrey Yee, chief of general medicine at Woodland Healthcare (Kim, California Healthline, 7/16).

The complete transcript of this Special Report is available as a PDF.

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operating programs at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is an endowed nonprofit organization providing information on health issues to the nation.

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