For Immediate Release: 
November 24, 2020

NHPCO Releases Findings from 2020 Palliative Care Needs Survey

Report shows growth in community-based palliative programs and access

(Alexandria, Va) – As a follow up to the 2018 palliative care needs survey report, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization has released a report, 2020 NHPCO Palliative Care Needs Survey Results Summary. The goal of the survey was to find out more about the services that programs are providing, the challenges they face, and ways that NHPCO can support the development and sustainability of community-based palliative care.

Highlights from the 2020 Palliative Care Needs Survey Results include:

      • Out of the respondents, 69 percent are providing palliative care services (compared to 53 percent in 2018)
      • Over 89,609 seriously ill individuals were served in 2019 (compared to 85,153 in 2017)
      • The greatest challenge and barrier identified by respondents is referrals; reimbursement is the second greatest challenge.

“NHPCO recognizes the importance of hospice providers caring for seriously ill individuals in the community. The survey demonstrates the growth of community-based palliative care and helps NHPCO focus our energy to best support providers,” said Lori Bishop, NHPCO Vice President of Palliative and Serious Illness Care.

As part of NHPCO’s work to advance awareness and access to community-based palliative care, NHPCO and the National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care are urging Congress to support the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation’s fast-track development of a Community-Based Palliative Care Demonstration for people with serious illness, to provide essential interdisciplinary care, in their home.

“The growth seen in our second report on palliative care needs of providers adds to the growing evidence base to support the need for a CMMI supported community-based palliative care demonstration under CMMI,” said NHPCO President and CEO Edo Banach. “Such a demonstration would not only help establish clear criteria for community-based palliative care services in the U.S. but would lead to improved quality and cost outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries experiencing serious illness.”

Providers should visit the NHPCO website to learn more about NHPCO resources for those providing community-based palliative care.


Jon Radulovic
NHPCO Communications

The public can learn more about palliative care, hospice, and advance care planning on NHPCO’s website.