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Attitudes and Experiences Regarding End-of-Life Care:
  • 70% of respondents preferred to die at home, but only 32% of deaths occur at home.

  • 42% of respondents had discussed end-of-life wishes with a loved one.

  • 82% of respondents thought it was important to document end-of-life wishes, but only 23% had done so.

  • 79% of respondents were willing to discuss end-of-life issues with their doctor, but only 7% had done so.

  • 67% of respondents indicated a preference for a natural death; only 7% said they wanted all possible intervention to prolong life.

  • Among respondents, the greatest concerns about the end of life were (1) making sure families were not burdened financially by healthcare costs, and (2) being comfortable and without pain.

The High Cost of End-of-Life Care in California:
  • 20.3% of Californians can expect to spend seven or more days in the ICU, compared to 15.2% nationally.

  • 21.2% of Californians are admitted to the ICU during the hospitalization in which death occurs.

​The High Cost of End-of-Life Care in the United States:
  • Medicare, the national health insurance for the elderly, spends nearly 30% of its budget on beneficiaries in their final year of life.

  • Of Medicare spending in the final year of life, approximately 40% is spent on patients in their final 30 days.

  • Nearly one-third of terminally ill patients with insurance spend most or all of their savings to cover uninsured medical expenses, such as home care.

                 *California Health Care Foundation (2012). Final Chapter: Californians’ Attitudes and Experiences with Death and Dying.

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