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Hospice LOS shortens Stats released by NHPCO
More than 35% (35.4%) of patients served by hospices in 2008 died or were discharged in seven days or less, reports the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). This reflects a 4.6% increase from 2007, when 30.8% of patients had what is considered a short hospice experience.1
Patients and families receiving care for seven days or less are often unable to take full advantage of the range of benefits that the hospice interdisciplinary team provides. These benefits include psychosocial support and spiritual care for patients and their families, as well as pain management and symptom control,
While the average length of service increased from 67.4 days in 2007 to 69.5 days in 2008, the jump in patients receiving care for a short time is of concern to hospice providers and NHPCO.
Only 12.1% of those served died or were discharged with service of 180 days or more.
1. National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. NHPCO Facts and Figures: Hospice Care in America. Alexandria, VA; 2009.