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Hospice Facts and Figures on Hospice Care in America – NHPCO

NHPCO’s 2022 report “Facts & Figures” describes who gets hospice care in America, and for how long. The median length of service was 18 days. The average lifetime amount of time in the program was higher (97 days), in part because of the long-stay effect of Alzheimer’s patients. The top 3 diagnosis categories were Alzheimer’s, dementia and Parkinson’s (median 56 days); heart disease (median 33 days); and cancer (median length of service of 17 days), The 2022 edition shows patient care and provider statistics for 2020, the first year of the pandemic. There were 5,058 Medicare-certified hospices operating in 2020. Less than half (47.8%) of Medicare patients who died that year, chose to be in hospice. This compares to almost 52% in 2019. Yet, despite the percentage, almost 7% more patients chose hospice. The high number of Covid deaths in 2020 may have skewed the numbers. The median length of stay in hospice for COVID-19 patients was only 4 days. Many Covid patients and families may not have had sufficient time to decide about hospice enrollment. NHPCO is the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. Published December 2022.

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