Hospice Proven to Reduce Hospitalization Risk for Nursing Home Residents

Hospice can be a deterrent to possible hospitalization risk for all residents at a nursing home, regardless if they are enrolled in the end-of-life care services or not, suggests a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association (JAMDA).

Researchers with the University of California-Irvine and RTI International, a global research institute, set out to examine whether residing in facilities with higher hospice penetration—or utilization rate—reduces hospitalization risk for non-hospice residents, or decreases the risk for hospice-enrolled residents when compared to other hospice-enrolled residents in facilities that have a lower hospice penetration,

What they found was for every 10% increase in hospice penetration, the risk of hospitalization decreases 5.1% for non-hospice residents and 4.8% for hospice-enrolled residents.


Overall, hospice-enrolled residents were less likely to be admitted to the hospital than their counterpart residents who weren’t enrolled in hospice programs. 

In the last 30 days of life, approximately 37.6% of non-hospice residents were hospitalized, while only 23.2% of hospice residents went to the hospital. 

The results are based on a sample of 505,081 non-hospice (67.66%) and 241,790 hospice-enrolled (32.34%) residents in 14,030 facilities nationwide.


“The findings shed light on nursing home end-of-life care delivery, collaboration among providers, and cost benefit analysis of hospice care,” conclude the study’s researchers.

View an abstract of the study.

Written by Jason Oliva