Hospice Services Increasing Fastest in Nursing Home Setting

Hospice services in nursing homes are increasing at a faster pace than in any other care setting, according to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s (NHPCO) latest report.

As the average life expectancy in the U.S. rises, so too does the number of individuals who die of chronic diseases and require long-term care.

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the life expectancy for Americans has hit a record high, rising to 78.8 years in 2012 from 78.7 in 2011.

An increasing number of these individuals are living in nursing homes prior to their death, which mirrors an increase in the number of hospice patients who live in nursing homes.

From 2012 to 2013, NHPCO reports that the percentage of hospice patients receiving care in a hospice inpatient facility decreased from 27.4% to 26.4%, while the percentage of hospice patients receiving care in nursing homes increased from 17.2% to 17.9%.

A previous study referenced in the report found that the proportion of nursing home decedents who received hospice care rose from 14% in 1999 to 33.1% in 2006, a growth rate that closely paralleled the increase in Medicare-certified hospice programs.

To read the full report, click here.

Written by Emily Study