“Nearly 1 In 5 Hospice Patients Discharged While Still Alive,” by Ina Jaffe, National Public Radio
“Hospice care is for the dying. It helps patients manage pain so they can focus on spending their remaining time with loved ones. But in recent years, nearly 1 in 5 patients has been discharged from hospice before he or she dies, according to government reports. A study published last month in the journal Health Affairs finds that hospices with the highest rate of so-called live discharges also have the highest profits. . . . ‘We see more and more patients that have conditions like Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease that don’t always follow a predictable course,’ says Rotella [chief medical officer for the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine]. . . . Some who study aging are concerned that certain hospices are gaming the system.”
LTC Comment (from Stephen A. Moses, President, Center for Long-Term Care Reform):
Is Medicare hospice becoming one more way for government to pay for long-term care?
Nearly 1 In 5 Hospice Patients Discharged While Still Alive