Are Hospices Avoiding High Cost Patients?

The survey of nearly 600 hospices nationwide found that 78 percent had enrollment policies that might restrict patient access to care, especially for those with high-cost medical needs. The policies included prohibitions on enrolling patients who are receiving palliative radiation or blood transfusions or who are being fed intravenously.

…such care can be expensive, costing upward of $10,000 a month, according to the Health Affairs study. That puts hospices in a financial bind. Last year, the Medicare program paid a base rate of $151 per day to cover all routine hospice services, adjusted for geographic differences.

More on patients’ poor access to care in Kaiser Health News.

Comments (6)

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  1. Sharon says:

    If they know that they are not going to get better, then I think the right decision to make is to not get admitted into a hospice. Frankly (and this may sound a bit cold-hearted) why have a patient with just a few weeks or maybe days left to live locked in a hospice? It doesn’t benefit anyone involved. The patient spends the rest of their days in a room and the hospice is unable to provide these services offered to this dying patient to any other patient that may have some “hope”.
    That said, I certainly don’t condone the fact that they are limiting the services they provide to their ill patients just because of “high costs”. I have always been a supporter of the fact that medical services should be made available to anyone that needs them…high costs should not be a reason why someone doesn’t get care.

  2. Ken says:

    Expect a lot more of this under Obama Care.

  3. Devon Herrick says:

    Incentives matter. If ever this fact was in doubt, this survey should satisfy your curiosity.

  4. Andrew O says:

    I still feel ill when thinking that some people have to worry about not just surviving, but also not being able to afford care for survival.

  5. Gabriel Odom says:

    We humans are making great efforts to lengthen the years of life we have to live, without keeping the quality of life as the foremost concern. If this continues, and it might, within 30 years we will have people living well over 120 years old – and suffering every day because of it.
    We should be focusing our research on wellness and bettering the quality of the years that we already have, before we strive to increase the length of a purposeless life.

  6. Life of Pi says:

    This is a pretty difficult dilemma to navigate through. This is the perfect case where ethics and economics clash.