Lymphoma patients who receive palliative care have fewer hospitalizations than those who do not, but racial and ethnic disparities persist.
Patients who underwent palliative care and were hospitalized did not see significant differences in lengths of stay than others, but did see substantial cost savings, according to research presented at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition.
“We conducted this study and analysis with the aim of addressing existing biases in modern medicine, especially in providing adequate care for [patients with] lymphoma. These biases manifest in institutional, financial, geographical and racial aspects,” Dr. Chieh Yang, a resident physician of internal medicine at University of California, Riverside, told the health care news organization Healio.
The researchers examined hospitalization statistics for 10,323 deceased patients from the National Inpatient Sample between January 2016 to December 2019. Of those 5,464 had received palliative care.
The study found that on average palliative care generated cost savings of $24,269 per patient.
However, patients that identified as Black or Hispanic were much less likely to receive palliative care than white patients, reflecting widespread inequities in palliative care and the health care system at large, the research found.
In addition, Medicare patients were the least likely to receive palliative care compared with those who had private insurance or Medicaid.