A study of over seven and a half million hospice stays in 2011, 2013, 2016 and 2018 found that the percentage of people using hospice during the last month or more of life has increased from 22.9% in 2000 to 51.6% in 2021, though more than half of those people were only enrolled for the last week of life. (Late hospital referrals often occur in the hospital.) Only 8.7% received hospice services for more than 90 days.¹
Hospice improves quality of care while decreasing costs.
Whether enrolled in traditional Medicare or in an insurance company’s Medicare Advantage program, people who enroll in hospice from home or an assisted living facility, spend more time in hospice than those who enter hospice from a hospital or nursing home.
The major difference seems to be that people enrolled in Medicare Advantage are more likely to enroll in hospice while at home or in assisted living.
¹ Claire K. Ankuda et al. “Comparison of the Pathway to Hospice Enrollment Between Medicare Advantage and Traditional Medicare,” JAMA Health Forum February 17, 2023
Elder law attorney, Terry Garrett, CELA, is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is an Approved Guardianship Attorney. She assists people in elder law, estate and special needs planning, guardianship and settling estates. She graduated with honors from Cornell University. She was on the Dean’s List at Wharton Business School. She earned her J.D. at Columbia Law School, receiving the Parker Award and a Mellon Fellowship.