Increasing hospice services can reduce hospital admissions among all residents of a nursing home, including those not enrolled in hospice, according to findings recently published in JAMDA.

For every 10% increase in “hospice penetration” at a given facility, the risk of hospitalization decreases 5.1% for non-hospice residents and 4.8% for hospice-enrolled residents, the investigators determined.

The study authors focused on long-stay nursing home residents who died between 2005 and 2007, drawing on data from sources such as Medicare inpatient and hospice claims and the Minimum Data Set 2.0. They calculated that in the nearly 14,000 included facilities, about 38% of non-hospice residents and 23% of hospice residents were hospitalized in the last 30 days of life.

The findings “shed light” on the benefits of collaboration between nursing homes and hospice providers, the authors wrote. They were affiliated with a variety of institutions, including RTI International and the University of California, Irvine.