Thousands leave hospice alive each year

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For many patients, hospice no longer is a place to die. In fact, roughly 100,000 patients this year are expected to live, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures.

Among those who are released from hospice, about one-third die within six months of their release, one study said. Large numbers go to nursing homes with chronic diseases. Somewhere between 5,000 and 20,000 hospice survivors a year live on with satisfaction.

One famous hospice patient, the humorist Art Buchwald, is living on another summer after being diagnosed with kidney failure last fall.