Original Study| Volume 22, ISSUE 2, P329-333, February 2021

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Impact of a Japanese Incentivization Program to Increase End-of-Life Care Outside of Hospitals

Published:November 04, 2020DOI:



      To analyze the association of an incentivization program to promote death outside of hospitals with changes in place of death.


      A longitudinal observational study using national databases.

      Setting and Participants

      Participants comprised Japanese decedents (≥65 years) who had used long-term care insurance services and died between April 2007 and March 2014.


      Using a database of Japanese long-term care insurance service claims, subjects were divided into community-dwelling and residential aged care (RAC) facility groups. Based on national death records, change in place of death after the Japanese government initiated incentivization program was observed using logistic regression.


      Hospital deaths decreased by 8.7% over time, mainly due to an increase in RAC facility deaths. The incentivization program was more associated with decreased in-hospital deaths for older adults in RAC facilities than community-dwelling older adults.

      Conclusions and Implications

      In Japan, the proportion of in-hospital deaths of frail older adults decreased since the health services system introduced the incentivization program for end-of-life care outside of hospitals. The shift of place of death from hospitals to different locations was more prominent among residents of RAC facilities, where informal care from laymen was required less, than among community residents.


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