Value-Based Care: Enhancing Quality and Patient Engagement Through Hospice
The benefits of hospice care are clear: By providing goal-concordant care at the end of life, hospice not only enhances the patient and family experience, but also reduces the provision of burdensome, costly medical treatments that will not extend life. Readmissions may also decrease. The percentage of Medicare beneficiaries who elect hospice care has been increasing gradually — from 44.2% in 2012 to 48.2% in 2017, according to statistics from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
Many eligible patients do not elect hospice or they enroll too late to gain much benefit. In 2017, 28% of Medicare hospice patients died one to seven days after enrollment. This executive dialogue explores the cultural, operational and financial challenges facing hospitals and health systems as they help patients at the end of life choose and transition to the care settings that match their goals. Confusion exists around the type of care hospices will provide, which may contribute to a patient’s decision not to elect hospice at the end of life.