Economic Review

Report Title: Cost Effectiveness of Palliative Care: A Review of the Literature (December 2012)

In the current environment of rising health care costs and concerns about the sustainability of publicly funded health care, policy makers are paying more attention to the costs associated with the last year of life.

The cost of dying in Canada ranges from as low as $10,000 for a sudden death to between $30,000 and $40,000 for someone with a terminal disease such as cancer or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The cost of dying varies not only by cause but by where people die: on average it costs $36,000 to die in a chronic care facility, compared to $16,000 to die at home. Controlling or reducing the cost of dying could benefit the health care system, families and individuals. It could relieve pressure on health care resources and make it possible to re-allocate savings to other care.This discussion paper presents the economic casefor hospice palliative care.

For a brief one-pager on the discussion document, click here

For the full discussion document, click here 

For your consideration:

  1. Although hospital-based hospice palliative care units are cost-effective, not all communities have hospitals with palliative programs and services. What is your view of the cost-effectiveness of other community-based hospice palliative care service delivery models?