Status quo far from realizing the full benefit of hospice
Research has demonstrated that hospice saves Medicare between $2,300 and $10,800 per enrolled beneficiary compared to traditional care at the end of life. Moreover, patients and families participating in hospice report better medical and social outcomes, particularly for pain and symptom management.
However, research indicates hospice services are currently underutilized. While more patients are enrolling in hospice, median length of stay (LOS) has remained largely unchanged since 2009 and remained at 19 days in 2012. A third of hospice stays are shorter than one week, and more than 60% of hospice users only access hospice within the last month of life. Concurrently, studies indicate that the LOS to receive maximum benefit from hospice care ranges from 80 to 90 days.
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Realizing the Full Benefit of Palliative Care