A report published in the February 2, 2011 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, compared the patient diagnoses, length of stay, and location of service for hospice patients receiving care from for-profit and not-for-profit hospices.
The researchers found that for-profit hospices had a higher percentage of patients with non-cancer primary diagnoses, and specifically found that for-profit hospices had a higher percentage of patients with dementia. The researchers also found that the median length of stay for patients receiving care from for-profit hospices was slightly longer than the median length of stay for patients receiving care from not-for profit hospices (i.e., 16 days versus 20 days). However, it should be noted that the median length of stay for both for-profit and not-for-profit hospices was well below 180 days. The researchers did not find significant differences in the location of service for hospice patients receiving care from for profit and not-for-profit hospices.
Based upon the above findings, the researchers concluded that the Medicare “per diem payment structure may create financial incentives to select patients who require less resource-intensive care and have longer hospice stays.”
For more information, please visit the Hospice page of The HLP website, or contact Abby Pendleton, Esq. or Jessica L. Gustafson, Esq. at (248) 996-8510.