As hospice for nursing home patients grows dramatically, a new study from the Regenstrief Institute and the Indiana University Center for Aging Research compares the characteristics of hospice patients in nursing homes with hospice patients living in the community.
The study also provides details on how hospice patients move in and out of these two settings.
The researchers found nursing home hospice patients were older, more likely to be women, more likely to be on both Medicare and Medicaid, and more likely to have dementia than individuals receiving hospice services outside a nursing home.
Nationally, an estimated 40 percent of Medicare recipients die with hospice. In the study, one in three Medicare recipients died with hospice. Cancer was the leading primary diagnosis for all hospice patients, although nursing home hospice patients were as likely to have a dementia diagnosis as a cancer diagnosis both nationally and in the study.
For details, see Unroe et al. (2014). Hospice use among nursing home and non-nursing home patients. Journal of General Internal Medicine [E-pub ahead of print].