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Live Discharges May Lead to Profit for Hospice Agencies

Posted on Friday, July 7, 2017 4:36 PM

A recent study found that hospice agencies have higher margins in correlation with live discharges.  A “Live” discharge is when a patient is discharged prior to their death. According to a study published in Health Affairs, “A Positive Association Between Hospice Profit Margin And The Rate At Which Patients Are Discharged Before Death”, it has been steadily rising.

The study shows two underlying causes for live discharges. The first being good quality care where the patient is stabilized and expected to live longer than six months. The second being poor quality care.

Over the past 14 years, the live discharge rate has risen 5%. The increase was noticed by CMS who expressed concern in a 2015 proposed rule that hospices were determining coverage based on reimbursement and cost rather than patient needs and preferences. It is thought this could be a financial motivator to hospice agencies.

To read more, visit the Home Health Care News article published today by clicking here.

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