Hospices Help Address Social Isolation in Patients

The need for social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the adverse impacts of isolation on hospice patients’ quality of life. Protecting the seriously ill at highest risk of COVID-19’s impacts has come at the cost of human touch and hands-on care so integral to hospice patients in their final life stages. Hospice and […]

Lack of Caregiver Support Adversely Impacts Hospice Utilization

A lack of sufficient family caregiver support can have a negative impact on whether or not a patient receives hospice care. New research shows that patients who are faced with end-of-life decisions may be less likely to choose hospice unless they have a network of friends or family who can serve as home caregivers. The […]

Ending Diabetes Treatment for Hospice Patients May Improve Quality of Life

Older adults who suffer from a life-limiting illness or advanced dementia may benefit from cessation of diabetes treatment as they near their final days, new research has found.  Prior research on appropriate levels of diabetes is scarce, according to the study’s authors. But their conclusions suggest that continuing diabetes treatment at the end of life […]

Hospice Utilization in Assisted Living Exceeds Private Homes

Hospice utilization among Medicare beneficiaries is greater in assisted living facilities than many other settings, including private residences, according to new research published in Health Affairs.  Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City indicated that this was the first national study to examine the types of residences where […]

Hospice Providers Say ‘Reopening’ States Will Improve Access to Nursing Homes

Many hospice leaders believe that states’ gradual relaxation of COVID-19 shelter-in-place restrictions will positively impact their businesses, despite concerns about increased risks to staff. Providers expect that increased access to patients living in facilities will drive clinical and financial improvement. More than half of hospice provider respondents to a Hospice News reader survey indicated that […]

Palliative Care Increasingly Important to Health Plans as a Supplemental Benefit

A rising number of Medicare Advantage health plans are offering home- and community-based palliative care as a supplemental benefit, a trend that could spell further growth for hospices offering those services as well as improving access for patients.  According to an analysis by ATI Advisory, 61 health plans nationwide are offering in-home palliative care as […]

Hospice, Palliative Care Patients at High Risk for COVID-19 

The hospice and palliative care patient populations are among the most vulnerable to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection. Understanding the risk points can be key for providers to minimize the potential risks of COVID-19 on aging and seriously ill patients. The symptoms of COVID-19 will be considerably more severe for adults age 60 or older who […]

Nearly 20% of Unpaid Caregivers in Poor Health

Caring for a chronically ill loved one, or a person who has reached the end-of-life, involves tremendous effort and sacrifice on the part of unpaid caregivers, including patients’ spouses, significant others, children and other friends or family. A new study indicates that many of these caregivers are themselves in poor health, which can impact high-acuity […]

Some Providers Overlook POLSTs for End-of-Life Care

Close to 40% of patients in a recent study received end-of-life services in an intensive care unit, contrary to their wishes as documented in Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST). Researchers considered 1,818 patients suffering from serious or chronic illness who died between 2010 and 2017 in a two-hospital academic health system. Some patients were […]

Only 1% of Myocardial Infarction Patients Get Palliative Care

Among myocardial infarction (MI) patients only about 1% receive palliative care, even for patients who have a terminal prognosis, according to recent research. These patients represent an underserved population who need care as well as an untapped market for palliative care providers. Most of the (MI) patients who did receive palliative care died during hospitalization, […]