End-of-life care, a must-read

Some numbers that astound, culled from “The Case For Killing Granny,” in the just-released Sept. 21 issue of Newsweek:

  • 50 percent — the amount health care costs have risen within the last decade (a dear — healthy — friend tells me his self-insured premiums have charged ahead 67 percent this year alone. )
  • $66.8 billion — the amount Medicare spends annually on critically-ill patients, which is about 1/3 of the cash Medicare outlays for patients each year.
  • 30 percent — the amount that Americans are over-treated by their physicians each year. (In part as a defensive-medicine move, which can tack on 2 percent to an overall medical bill.)
  • 17 percent of the Gross Domestic Product — what Americans spend on health-care. (At present expansion rates, that’s projected to become 1/5 of spending in a decade; Europeans spend about 10 percent of their GDP on health care.)
  • 70 percent — The number of people who wish to die at home; half of Americans, however, end their lives in a hospital.
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