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Average Hospice Length of Stay Rose in 2018

Posted on Monday, December 2, 2019 1:08 PM

A new report from Trella Health shows an increase of hospice length of stay of 5% in 2018 versus 2017.  The average stay in 2018 was 77.9 days, which is up from 74.5 days in 2017. 

Many patients enter hospice with less than a week to live, so they are not able to take full advantage of what hospice has to offer.  The most common complaint from families on hospice Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) surveys is that they wish their loved one had entered hospice sooner. 

“One contributing factor could be a higher incidence of patients with longer-term illnesses electing hospice care. Three categories made up more than 75% of admissions over the past four quarters: circulatory diseases, neoplasms, and nervous system diseases,” the report indicated. “While neoplasms are generally associated with shorter lengths of stay, diseases impacting the nervous system such as Alzheimer’s can cause slow deterioration in affected patients. In addition to the diagnostic category, another factor leading to higher [average length of stay] may be providers referring patients to hospice earlier in their course of illness.”

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