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Study: Medicare policy may account for growing length of hospice stays in nursing homes
Date:7/9/2010

the researchers agree with a Medicare Payment Advisory Commission's recommendation that procedures for determining hospice eligibility recertification be strengthened. The recommended changes would help the Medicare system avoid undue scrutiny of nursing home residents who live beyond the physician-certified six-month prognosis, a Medicare requirement for hospice eligibility, and would allow patients to access the hospice care they need. In 2006, 30 percent of nursing home hospice stays were found to be seven days or less. Currently, 500,000 U.S. adults die in nursing homes each year.

The Medicare hospice benefit is designed to provide visits by an interdisciplinary care team to better manage pain and other end-of-life issues and to provide psychosocial and spiritual support in the nursing home setting for residents and their families. The authors acknowledge the benefits that Medicare hospice provides to these residents and families, while providing data that show a need for modification of the payment system.


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Contact: Anne Coyle
anne_coyle@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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