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MedPAC Reviews Impact of Hospice on Medicare Outlays

Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 8:57 PM

During its April Meeting, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) discussed a contractor report called “Spending in the Last Year of Life and the Impact of Hospice on Medicare Outlays.” The report provided the following overview:
• Examined national trends
• A review of replicated recent studies on the topic in literature
• A new “market-level” approach to measure the impact of hospice on overall Medicare expenditures

The report found the following results:
• Between 2002 and 2012, the use of hospice increased from 26% to 47% of decedents
• Spending in the last year of life increased by 1.1%
• There was no evidence in the national trends that indicated the use of hospice decreased Medicare costs for beneficiaries in the last year of life
• One-third of hospice spending was spent outside of the final year of life

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