The Hospice Insider | June 13, 2016
Every year the NHPCO (National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization) releases a report NHPCO Facts and Figures: Hospice Care in America. The report provides and annual overview of hospice care across the country including growth, delivery and quality. It provides specific information on hospice patient characteristics, hospice provider characteristics, location and level of care and role of paid and volunteer staff.
According to the report, in 2014, an estimated 1.6 to 1.7 million patients received services from hospice.
“This estimate includes:
- patients who died while receiving hospice care
- patients who received care in 2013 and who continued to receive care into 2014 (known as “carryovers”)
- patients who left hospice care alive in 2014 for various reasons including extended prognosis, desire for curative treatment, and other reasons (known as “live discharges”) ”
The report also shows that from 2010 to 2014, the number of hospice patients and families served by hospice has steadily increased over the years. This is most like due to the multiple benefits that hospice care provides including a comprehensive plan with competent professionals, a familiar environment, and personalized care and support. The patient gets a sense of dignity and a respect for their wishes, while the family is provided counseling and has less of a financial burden.
Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of the NHPCO explains, “For many years, hospice professionals have known through firsthand experience, that the interdisciplinary care they provide to patients and family caregivers coping with life-limiting illness significantly improves quality of life and allows people to focus on living as fully as possible even as life draws to a close. Now the broader healthcare community, regulators and legislators understand more fully the many benefits of hospice care.”
You can read the 2015 version of NHPCO Facts and Figures: Hospice Care in America here.