Published on: October 5, 2010

A new report from The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization shows that a record 1.56 million of all people, an estimated 41.6 percent, who died in the U.S. last year were under the care of a hospice program – up from 38.8 percent in 2008 and 35 percent in 2007.

J. Donald Schumacher, NHPCO president and CEO said:

“This rising statistic shows that more Americans facing a life-limiting illness are opting for care that addresses medical, emotional, and spiritual needs at the end of life and that is the compassionate care that hospice and palliative care brings to patients and families in need.” – Read the full press release here…

NHPCO’s annual publication, Facts and Figures: Hospice Care in America (PDF) reports on hospice trends and provides updated information on the growth, delivery, and quality of hospice care in the US. Findings include:

  • A record 1.56 million people with a life-limiting illness received care from the nation’s hospice providers.
  • The average length of service remained steady at 69 days. Median length of service was also steady at 21.1 days (that means half of hospice patients received care for less than three weeks and half received care for more than three weeks).
  • Routine home care accounted for 95.9 percent of patient care days.
  • At 68.8 percent, the majority of hospice care was provided in the home, whether the patient’s home is a private residence, nursing home, or residential facility.

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