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Healthcare Market Resources Report: Hospice Usage Declined Nationally

Posted on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 8:47 PM

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission’s (MedPAC’s) recent 2017 Report to Congress, looked at numbers based on the percentage of Medicare descendants that have used hospice services, and it concluded that hospice utilization continues to increase.

However, Pennsylvania-based Healthcare Market Resources conducted analysis, based on the number of patients served by hospice against the total Medicare enrollees for a geographic area. This report showed that 11 states experienced an increase in hospice utilization from 2014 to 2015. However, the numbers also show a decrease in hospice usage, nationally.

The following states experienced an increase in the use of hospice: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Indiana, Maine, Nebraska, North Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, and West Virginia. According to the report, that’s a decline from 17 states that experienced hospice utilization growth from 2013 to 2014.

The following states experienced the biggest growth in hospice utilization: Arkansas and Maine. According to the report, that’s a decline from 2014, when eight states showed hospice growth of two percent or more.

According to the report, hospice utilization by Medicare-eligible patients declined nationally from 2.67 percent in 2013 to 2.59 percent in 2014 and then to 2.55 percent in 2015.

But, when you look at the data in longer increments, you can see that hospice usage among Medicare-eligible patients was right at 2.26 percent in 2006. Therefore, the 2015 usage numbers reflect an overall increase of approximately 13 percent.

The following states experienced the biggest growth in hospice utilization since 2006: Hawaii (108.1 percent growth), Maine (49.9 percent), West Virginia (47.02 percent), Washington, D.C. (46.73 percent) and Alaska (45.41 percent increase). In 2015, hospice utilization declined by more than five percent in 11 states.

Due to a new payment system and increased regulation, Healthcare Market Resources expect hospice usage to decline more in 2017.

For the full article, click here.

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