Palliative care units (PCUs) were proven to reduce hospital mortality costs, which are a considerable burden on the healthcare system. For a study, researchers sought t compare the PCU’s costs with those of the other hospital services to determine the last admission hospital healthcare costs associated with passing away in a first-level hospital.

A retrospective, comparative, observational research examining expenditures from the payer’s point of view for procedures and diagnostic-therapeutic examinations carried out on patients who pass away at first-level hospitals, comparing whether they were treated by the PCU or another unit (Non-PCU). According to the Severity of Illness Index (SOI) and Risk of Mortality (MOR), patients with a mortality risk of >2 were included. Each cost was expressed in euros, and the median cost per patient and interquartile range (IQR) are included.

Of the 1,833 patients who passed away, 1,389 were included, 442 (31.1%) of whom had PCU treatment, and 928 (68.9%) did not. There were statistically significant differences for the final admission total cost (€262.8 (€470.1) for PCU vs. (€515.3 (€980.48) in Non-PCU) and the daily total cost (€74.27 ($127.4) vs. (€115.8 (€142.4) Non-PCU). Savings were kept after the sample was divided into diagnosis-related groups (DRGs), and multivariate analysis was done to see how the various baseline features of PCU and Non-PCU patients affected the outcomes.

According to the study’s data, it was much less expensive for hospitals to treat patients in a PCU during their last hospitalizations before passing death.