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Concerns About Costs Rise With Hospices’ Use

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Over the 28 years that Medicare has reimbursed providers for hospice services, it has been praised for giving critical medical and emotional support to dying patients and their families. When properly used — that is, at the very end of life — hospice care also has saved the government money. Providing dying patients with palliative care in their own homes, or in a hospice facility or nursing home, is far less expensive than continuing to order up futile medical treatments, studies have shown.

This New York Times article touches on a key factor, length of hospice stays, that government officials are attempting to “get right” as more and more Medicare beneficiaries are tapping this alternative in an effort to keep family end-of-life costs down.

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