Health economics of end-of-life care - The particular case of COPD and Alzheimer’s disease
Medical care in the final period of life accounts for a considerable share of health care expenditures and most of the current evidence on resource use and costs is based on studies in those suffering from cancer. While it is indicated that palliative care is cost-saving, early identification and prognostication of the end-of-life phase and the provision of appropriate end-of-life care and palliative care are also assumed to improve quality of life of patients and their families. However, this evidence is mainly based on evaluations of specific or small cohorts and fullpopulation national evaluations of those suffering from non-cancer diseases are lacking. Hence, there is a growing interest in examining the current state of healthcare use and costs across a full national population and there is a need to identify opportunities for improvement and reducing costs at the end-of-life for equally needed non-cancer patients.
This dissertation explores resources used and costs generated at the end-of-life of the whole Belgian population of those suffering and dying of Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and Alzheimer’s disease. It describes the uptake of direct medical resources and reimbursed medical costs in the Belgian population and aims to evaluate resource use and costs of current end-of-life care from a full national population of non-cancer decedents.