Top 10 Largest Hospice Providers of 2020

Despite facing forceful pandemic-related headwinds from COVID-19, mergers and acquisitions and organic growth are fueling market share growth among the organizations listed in the LexisNexis 2020 Top Hospice Providers report. VITAS Healthcare, a subsidiary of Chemed Corp. (NYSE: CHE), led the charge as the largest hospice provider in the United States last year, with 4.42% […]

Number of MA Plans Offering Palliative Care Doubles

The number of Medicare Advantage health plans that are offering palliative care as a supplemental benefit more than doubled between 2020 and 2021. This represents a larger trend of plans offering an increasing number primarily health-related supplemental benefits.  Analysis by the consulting firm ATI Advisory found that the number of health plans offering home-based palliative […]

Top 2021 Hospice Worries: Accessing Facility-Bound Patients, Staffing

Regaining regular access to hospice patients in nursing homes, assisted living or other facilities is a top concern for providers, along with ongoing staffing shortages that pre-date the pandemic, according to organization leaders who responded to Hospice News 2021 Outlook Survey.  The 2021 Hospice News Outlook Survey and Report, sponsored by Homecare Homebase, is informed […]

Patients With Poor Health Literacy Less Likely to Elect Hospice

Patients who have low levels of health literacy are more likely to seek intensive curative treatment at the end-of-life, as opposed to choosing hospice care. In addition to disparities in hospice utilization associated with race or ethnicity, a patient’s understanding of their condition and the available treatments may also be a contributing factor, according to […]

Home-Based Patients Report Higher Satisfaction with End-of-Life Care

Patients who receive care in their homes at the end-of-life report higher satisfaction with the medical services provided to them than those in other settings. New data indicate that place of death may be an important quality measure for end-of-life care.  Analysis of data from the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) for 1,500 […]

Palliative Care, Hospice Help Reduce Suicide Among Cancer Patients

Rising utilization of hospice, psychosocial and palliative care contributes to falling suicide rates among cancer patients, a recent study has found. Between 1999 and 2018 suicide rates dropped among cancer patients even as the nation’s overall rate grew higher.  Researchers aimed to identify cancer patients at the highest risk of suicide compared to the general […]

Patients Praise Medicare Advantage as Hospice Carve-In Takes Effect

Beneficiaries participating in Medicare Advantage give high ratings to the coverage and services they receive, with as many as 98% reporting satisfaction, according to a recent Better Medicare Alliance poll. This feedback comes shortly after the Jan. 1 inception of the value-based insurance design demonstration, often called the Medicare Advantage hospice carve-in. Payers and hospice […]

Race, Socioeconomics Are Largest Barriers to Hospice and Palliative Care

Race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status are the leading differentiating factors fueling disparities in hospice utilization. Recent research reflects mounting concerns about inequitable access to hospice and palliative care across the United States. Researchers from the John Hopkins University School of Nursing in Baltimore examined March 2020 data from three national health care databases that outlined […]

U.S. Health Care Spending Rose to $3.8 Trillion in 2019

U.S. health care expenditures rose 4.6% to $3.8 trillion during 2019, growing at a similar rate to 2018, which saw a 4.7% increase, according to a new study in the journal Health Affairs. These data come at a time when hospices are working to demonstrate their cost saving capabilities to payers in value-based payment programs, […]

MEDPAC Reports Rise in Hospice Use, Calls for Payment Cap Cut

More Medicare beneficiaries are electing hospice than ever before, and they are generally receiving care for longer periods of time, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MEDPAC). As the commission reports these gains, MEDPAC continues to recommend to Congress a 20% reduction in the aggregate cap for hospice payments. During 2019, hospice utilization among […]