Medicare’s Hospice Benefit: Analysis of Utilization and Resource Use

CMS: 7/29/14

Objective: This work provides descriptive statistics on hospice users. It also explores the magnitude of relative resource use during hospice episodes and whether such patterns vary by episode length for patients who only use routine home care as compared to those who use multiple levels of hospice care. Examining resource use for hospice users who require different hospice levels of care within an episode versus solely routine home care provides insight to the varied resource use associated with the different patient populations (i.e., those who may require steady routine home care across the entire episode versus those who require varied levels of care across the episode).
Data Source: The analyses were based on a longitudinal analytic file that was constructed from 100% of Medicare claims for hospice users with completed episodes spanning September 1, 2008 through the end of calendar year 2011. In examining resource use for routine home care users and all levels of hospice care, the analyses were restricted to single episode decedents who began their hospice episode on or after April 1, 2010 and whose date of death was on or before December 31, 2011. Read More