Medicare enrollees choose nursing homes over hospice for end-of-life care, research shows

Share this article:

Palliative and hospice care should be included in Medicare's nursing home benefits, according to authors of a new study.

Nearly one-third of Medicare beneficiaries choose to stay in a nursing home for end-of-life care, because Medicare does not cover room and board in hospice, according to the study.

In analyzing data from 5,100 people between 1994 and 2007, investigators from the University of California at San Francisco found 31% had used the nursing home benefits in their last six months of life.

“Unfortunately, financial issues may contribute to why patients near the end of life are using the SNF benefit and not the hospice benefit,” the authors wrote.

“Perhaps having Medicare pay concurrently for post-acute SNF care and hospice services for the same condition could allow earlier incorporation of palliative care for these medically complex patients,” the study authors wrote.

The study was published Oct. 1 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Share this article:

More in News

Long-term care continues to lead in deal volume and value: PwC report

Long-term care continues to lead in deal volume ...

Long-term care bucked healthcare industry trends with strong merger and acquisition activity in the second quarter of 2014, according to newly released data from professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Empowering nurse practitioners could reduce hospitalizations from SNFs, study finds

Granting more authority to nurse practitioners is associated with reduced hospitalization of skilled nursing facility residents, according to recently published findings.

Pioneer ACO drops out of program, despite reductions in skilled nursing utilization

A California healthcare system has become the latest dropout from the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization program, despite reducing skilled nursing facility utilization and improving its readmission rates. Sharp HealthCare announced its decision in a quarterly financial statement released Tuesday.