US Annual Health Care Expenditures Show Signs of Post-Pandemic Normalization

The nation’s annual health care spend reached $4.5 trillion in 2022, a 4.15 increase, compared to 3.1% the prior year. The percentages may indicate a step towards normalization after the pandemic years. In 2020, the growth rate was 10.6%, according to a report published in Health Affairs. The report did not contain hospice-specific data. “In […]

Hospice Clinician Wages Rising at Slower Rate; Turnover Falling

Wages for hospice clinicians continue to go up amid widespread staff shortages, but they grew at a slower rate in 2023 compared to the prior year. The national average hourly rate for Hospice registered nurses rose 4.58% in 2023, down from a 5.95% increase in 2022, according to a new report by the Hospital & […]

CMS: Concurrent Hospice Care Improves Quality, Reduces Costs

Allowing patients to receive concurrent hospice and curative care reduces health care costs and improves quality. The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released its fifth and final report on the Medicare Care Choices Model (MCCM), which studied the effects of allowing individuals to receive hospice care without foregoing other treatments.  The […]

Research Identifies the Most Essential Components of Palliative Care Programs

Standardized interdisciplinary team meetings, volunteer involvement and early intervention are among the beneficial components of community-based palliative care, a new study has found. Worldwide, providers that leverage these strategies, along with robust clinician and public education programs, achieve better outcomes, including more deaths occurring in the home, reduced hospitalizations and improved patient and family satisfaction, […]

The Benefits of Diversifying a Hospice’s Referral Mix

As the health care system changes, hospices may want to focus on diversifying their mix of referral sources. A range of factors are transforming the environment in which home-based care providers operate, including hospices. Among them are value-based payment models, the workforce shortages, regulatory scrutiny and reimbursement that isn’t keeping pace with costs, according to […]

The High Costs of Limited Hospice Access for Dementia Patients 

Limiting hospice access for dementia patients is likely to increase overall health care costs at the end of life, according to recent research. During the past decade, Medicare beneficiaries with dementia who utilized hospice had lower overall health care costs than those who did not, according to the Health Affairs study. The findings provide a […]

Palliative Radiation Therapy Can Improve Patients’ Quality of Life

Palliative radiation therapy helps improve the quality of life among patients with certain types of brain tumors, recent research has found. The lines between which health care services are considered “palliative“ versus “curative” are often blurred. Though uncertainty persists around the use of radiation therapy in palliative care, a recent study published in the journal […]

Key Research Trends: Long Hospice Stays, Palliative Care Save Medicare Dollars

The health care space — including hospice — is increasingly shaped by numbers. During the past several years hospice providers have had to become experts in data management in order to remain competitive. Data has become invaluable to negotiations with referral and payer sources, as well as to regulatory compliance. But providers can also benefit […]