Study concept and design: Weissman, Cooper, Hyder, Lipsitz, Zinner, Prigerson.
Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Weissman, Cooper, Hyder, Lipsitz, Jiang, Prigerson.
Drafting of the manuscript: Weissman, Cooper, Lipsitz.
Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: All authors.
Statistical analysis: Lipsitz, Jiang.
Administrative, technical, or material support: Weissman, Cooper.
Study supervision: Weissman, Lipsitz, Zinner.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: The authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and none were reported.
Additional Contributions: We thank Bruce Cohen, PhD (Massachusetts Department of Public Health), for help in acquiring state death data and overall guidance, and Nathanael Hevelone, MPH (Covidien/Medtronic), and Richard Sterling Haring, DO (Brigham and Women’s Hospital), for contributions to the construction of the database. We are indebted to the departments of public health in Massachusetts, Vermont, Michigan, and Utah that provided the electronic death certificate data and to Ellen Goodman (Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the Conversation Project) for advice early in the research process. No compensation was provided for any of the persons involved.