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Variation Between End-of-Life Health Care Costs in Los Angeles and San Diego: Why Are They So Different? (Journal of Palliative Medicine)

February 1, 2011

CHIS Journal Article

Author: Robert Kaplan

More is spent on end-of-life care in Los Angeles County than in San Diego County. But is that care any better? Not according to a new analysis in this article for the Journal of Palliative Medicine by Robert Kaplan, a professor in the UCLA School of Public Health (and soon to be head of the NIH's Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research). In his analysis, which used CHIS data, Kaplan showed that although quality of care was lower in Los Angeles, costs were substantially higher. One possible cause? Although physician supply and fees for services were comparable in the two counties, in L.A. (where the number of hospital beds is 35 percent higher than San Diego) a greater number of hospital admissions and more inpatient care led to dramatically higher hospital costs.

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