CDC: Opioid Guidelines Don’t Apply to Hospice

In response to reports of misapplication of opioid prescribing guidelines, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has clarified that those guidelines do not apply to end-of-life care, palliative care, or treatment of pain related to cancer. The guidelines, issued in 2016, recommends nonopioid approaches including physical therapy as a preferred first-line treatment […]

Tech Reshaping Hospice Care

Technology is changing the ways hospice care is delivered. From the evolution of electronic medical records (EMR) to the advent of artificial intelligence (AI), hospice providers are leveraging new systems to create efficiencies, improve patient care, and make their organizations more attractive to investors. Numerous organizations are discovering the value of predictive analytics, telemedicine, and […]

‘Talking the Talk’: Advancing End-of-Life Conversations

Identifying patients in need of hospice earlier in the course of their illness is a business and moral imperative for hospice providers. Though conversations about end of life are difficult for everyone involved, including clinicians and social workers who facilitate them, they reap substantial benefits for patients, families, payers, and providers. Early conversations are positively […]

Niagara Hospice Launches New Dementia Program

Lockport, N.Y.-based Niagara Hospice is applying new training and new methods to its recently expanded dementia care and family support program. Through the program, a dedicated dementia care team uses new behavioral monitoring, treatment techniques, and memory and sensory activities to improve patients’ quality of life and help them stay at home as long as […]

Hospice Volunteers Save Providers $469 Million Yearly

The nation’s 420,000 trained hospice volunteers generate more than $469 million in annual savings for hospice providers while administering and supporting essential services for patients, according to the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). Hospice volunteers provide more than 19 million hours of service annually. The estimated financial value of a hospice volunteer’s time […]

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 […]

Optum Partners with Genoa Healthcare on Hospice Pharmacies

Optum Hospice Pharmacy Services is collaborating with Genoa Healthcare to establish pharmacies specializing in hospice care in 47 states, designed to improve local access to medications and facilitate speedier delivery for hospice providers and patients. Optum—which is owned by UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) —will bring its hospice-centric pharmacy services to Genoa’s pharmacy network of 450 […]

Nonprofit Hospices Fight to Compete with For-Profit Chains

Nonprofit hospices have been bleeding market share for several years—but are not going gentle into that good night. Rather, many nonprofits are adapting to compete with large for-profit providers that are entering the space in greater numbers. In the 1980s and 90s nonprofits provided virtually all hospice care in the United States, but the balance […]

VA to Expand Hospice, Palliative Care for Veterans

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is working to expand hospice and palliative care utilization among veterans, both in its own facilities and through collaborations with private health care providers. Historically, hospice utilization among veterans has been lower than that of the general population. In 2000, 21.6 percent of all Medicare decedents enrolled in […]

Hospice Care Thriving in Nursing Homes

Hospice utilization among nursing home residents has increased dramatically during the past five years. While most hospice patients receive care in a private residence, a rising number of patients are receiving care in assisted living and long term care facilities, according to a recent report from LeadingAge, an association of non-profit organizations that serve seniors. […]