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J Korean Acad Nurs. 2000 Aug;30(4):1045-1054. Korean. Original Article.
Lee TW , Lee WH , Kim MS .
Assistant professor, College of Nursing, Yonsei University, Korea.
Professor, College of Nursing, Yonsei University, Korea.
College of Medicine, Ehwa Women's Univeristy, Korea.

As cost pressures have escalated, policy makers, politicians, health care providers and families have tried to devise ways to reduce health care costs. While originally developed to enhance patient control and to provide better care at the end of life, hospice care has recently received significant attention as a mean of reducing health care costs. As a program providing care for patients who are dying at their homes, hospice has expanded slowly since the opening of the first hospice in Korea in 1963. Therefore, a variety of services that responds to the needs and concerns of many dying people and their families is limited The purpose of this study was to determine the potential cost savings at the end of life among patients who used home hospice compared with the patients who received institutional care in Korea. This study used a retrospective, descriptive design. The sample for this study included 46 patients who died of lung cancer: 25 patients who received home hospice care and 21 patients who received institutional care. Data on patient characteristics, kinds and frequencies of provided treatment and nursing services, and hospice and hospital charges during the last month before death were collected. Cost of care was measured by the average cost per patient per day in the last month of life. The results of the study indicated that there were significant differences in average cost of care between home hospice sample and institutional care sample (t=9.956, p<.001; home hospice sample: M=18,102 won, institutional care sample: M=317,578 won). The cost of the home hospice sample was approximately 6% of the cost of institutional care. The majority of the home hospice nursing services were education (35.7%) and supportive counseling (25.2%), followed by medication management (13.6%), assessment (12.1%), basic nursing (7.2%), treatment (5.5%) and others. In institutional care sample, basic nursing and treatment were more emphasized than education or supportive counseling among the nursing services provided. The results of this study showed the potential for hospice to reduce costs and implications for policymakers and clinicians to incorporate hospice program into the formal health care delivery system in Korea.

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