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For patients with end-stage liver disease, acute care incurs steep costs

Key clinical point: End-of-life care for patients with end-stage liver disease costs significantly more than nearly all other chronic health conditions, largely because of acute care costs incurred during the final 3 months of life.

Major finding: During their final year of life, patients with end-stage liver disease incurred a median of $51,191 Canadian dollars in health care costs (interquartile range, $28,510-$86,659) – exceeding median end-of-life care costs for patients with ischemic heart disease, diabetes, mental health disorders, and congestive heart failure. A total of 51% of these final-year costs related to acute care provided during the final 90 days of life.

Study details: Retrospective population-level study of 264,723 decedents.

Disclosures: The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care supported the work. The researchers reported having no competing interests.


Kelly EM et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2019 Jan 28 doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2019.01.046.