A new study comes to some alarming conclusions about hospices.
A new study has come to some unpleasant conclusions about what the last days of a hospice patient’s life are like in many cases.
About one in eight hospice patients don’t see a doctor, a nurse, or even a social workers in the last days of their lives, according to a UPI report.
Hospice care refers to specialized care to serve both the physical and emotional needs of someone who is on their deathbed, as well as to help families care for them or cope.
But the research out of the University of Washington finds that a significant number of patients don’t get this kind of care near the end, and the likelihood of visits was even lower for patients who were black or in a nursing home. Also, patients who died on Sunday tended to have fewer visits.
Researchers examined the last two days of life for 661,557 Medicare beneficiaries who died in hospice between October 2013 and September 2014. In about 12.3 percent of cases, the patietns didn’t receive any professional staff visits during that time. The worst rate was in Alaska, where that was the case 19.7 percent of the time.
The findings were published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.