Dartmouth end-of-life care expert Dr. John Wennberg said a study in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association that shows both higher hospice and ICU usage at the end of life is not surprising because the nation's capacity to provide both hospice care and acute care is growing. Study co-author Dr. Julie Bynum of Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine commented that even though medicine almost always offers one more treatment to try, physicians should begin talking with patients about end-of-life care "well before the final crisis begins."

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