Value of Hospice in Medicare Report

The Value of Hospice: Better Care, Lower Cost

New Research Shows the Value of Hospice in Medicare, and for Patients and Families

New research conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago and published in March 2023 shows that patients’ use of hospice care contributed to $3.5 billion in savings for Medicare in 2019, while providing multiple benefits to patients, families, and caregivers.

Key findings from the study include the following:

      • NORC estimates that Medicare spending for those who received hospice care was $3.5 billion less than it would have been had they not received hospice care.
      • In the last year of life, the total costs of care to Medicare for beneficiaries who used hospice was 3.1 percent lower than for beneficiaries who did not use hospice.
      • Hospice is associated with lower Medicare end-of-life expenditures when hospice lengths of stay are longer than 10 days. In other words, earlier enrollment in hospice reduces Medicare spending even further.
      • Hospice stays of six months or more result in savings for Medicare. For those who spent at least six months in hospice in the last year of their lives, spending was on average 11 percent lower than the adjusted spending of beneficiaries who did not use hospice.
      • At any length of stay, hospice care benefits patients, family members, and caregivers, including increased satisfaction and quality of life, improved pain control, reduced physical and emotional distress, and reduced prolonged grief and other emotional distress.

NORC’s report, the Value of Hospice in Medicare, presents one of the most comprehensive analyses of enrollment and administrative claims data for Medicare patients covered by Medicare Advantage and Traditional Medicare. NHPCO was proud to support this research, along with the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC).

Report Resources

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