More Stroke Patients Seeking Hospice Care

Hospice utilization among stroke patients is on the rise as an increasing number choose to end their lives in their homes, according to a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association-Neurology. More than 2 million people in the United States died as a result of cerebrovascular disease during the study period, which […]

Florida Expected to Take Hardest Hit in Hospice Staff Shortage

Ongoing workforce shortages in the hospice space are expected to worsen, with Florida taking the biggest hit due to the size of its population older than 65.  The number of hospice and palliative care physicians and members of other disciplines will drop precipitously during the next two decades, largely due to retirements and staff leaving […]

$32 Billion Price Tag for Avoidable Emergency Room Visits

Avoidable emergency department (ED) visits add $32 billion to the nation’s health care costs annually, according to a new report from insurer United Healthcare, and hospice and palliative care providers are well positioned to help reduce that toll. Nearly 66% of hospital ED visits by privately insured patients in the United States are avoidable, meaning […]

Report: 60% of Patients Needing Palliative Care Do Not Receive It

Close to 60% of patients who would benefit from palliative care do not receive those services, despite the availability of community-based palliative care as well as hospital-based palliative care, according to a new report from the New England Journal of Medicine Catalyst Insights Council.  NEJM Catalyst is a think tank composed of health care executives, […]

More than Half of Spouse Caregivers Have No Family Support

Nearly 55% of spouse caregivers for patients at the end-of-life have no additional family support, according to new research, a circumstance likely to spark increased demand for enhanced caregiver support services, non-medical services and home-based palliative care. Spouses provide the most caregiving for married people living in the home, including in dementia cases, according to […]

Study: Hospice, Palliative Care Workforce to Deplete During Next 25 Years

Staff shortages currently squeezing hospice and palliative care providers are likely to get worse before they get better. A forthcoming study to be published this week in Health Affairs found that the number of palliative care physicians will decline during the next 25 years even as demand rises, the study’s authors said. Contributing factors driving […]

Cardiac Patients Less Likely to Receive Hospice, Palliative Care Referrals

Physicians are less likely to recommend hospice and palliative care to patients suffering from cardiac conditions, such as congestive heart failure, compared to patients who have other conditions such as cancer, a recent study indicates. Numerous hospices provide palliative care, and an increasing number are diversifying their service. Education of clinicians treating cardiovascular patients can […]

Social Determinant Needs Greater Among Medicare Advantage Patients

Hospices gearing up for a Medicare Advantage carve-in demonstration in 2021 may place greater emphasis on addressing social determinants of health, as Medicare Advantage beneficiaries are increasingly affected by a lack of associated services, according to a report from consulting firm Avalere Health. Patients with dual eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid are the most affected, […]

Upswing in Hospice Utilization, Length of Stay

An upward trend in hospice utilization during 2018 brought a record number of patients into hospice for longer periods of time, according to a report from Atlanta-based research firm Excel Health. Hospice utilization among Medicare beneficiaries climbed above 50 percent during 2018, the highest rate since the 1983 inception of the Medicare Hospice Benefit. Meanwhile […]

Hospices Adjust to Encounter Data Under Medicare Advantage Carve-in

When Medicare Advantage begins to cover hospice under the 2021 carve-in, hospices and payers will have a new set of numbers to think about: Encounter data. These detailed records of a patient’s health condition and health care services will likely affect the way hospices participating in Medicare Advantage will be reimbursed, but industry observers have […]