Medicare hospice care in US nursing homes: A 2006 update

Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research, Brown University, Rhode Island, USA.
Palliative Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.86). 05/2011; 25(4):337-44. DOI: 10.1177/0269216310389349
Source: PubMed


This research examines 2006 population-based data on persons who died in US nursing homes (NHs) and received hospice in the NH.
We compared dying persons characteristics and lengths of hospice stay in five US states between 1992 and 1996 and in 2006. We also compared characteristics of dying persons in 2006 by whether they first entered hospice in the community (i.e. 'community-NH', N=12,950) or the NH (i.e. 'NH-only', N=159,065).
In five US states, dying persons who received NH hospice in 2006, compared to 1992-1996, were older, had more short hospice stays (≤7 days), and were less frequently diagnosed with cancer. Also, in 2006, dying persons receiving 'NH-only' versus 'community-NH' hospice were older, had more short stays, and were less frequently diagnosed with cancer.
Persons in 2006 who received hospice in the community and in the NH (vs. 'NH-only') were strikingly similar to hospice participants in 1992-1996. 2006 'NH-only' vs. 'community-NH' dying persons, more closely resemble U.S. NH residents.

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Available from: Susan C Miller, Mar 11, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Since 1999, there has been a significant increase in hospice providers and hospice use in nursing homes. A 1997 Office of Inspector General (OIG) report warned of possible kickbacks, monetary and otherwise, that might be paid by hospices to nursing homes in exchange for referrals. One possible kickback mentioned in the report was nursing homes receiving additional staff hours at no cost, which could lead to decreases in nursing home staffing. The purpose of this study was to determine if changes in nursing home hospice volume were related to changes in certified nursing assistant (CNA) staffing. The study included free-standing nursing homes with at least 3 years of observation between 1999 and 2006, no fewer than five deaths in any year, and between 30 and 500 beds (n=10,759). We examined the longitudinal relationship between changing hospice volume and CNA minutes per resident day (MPRD), utilizing nursing home fixed-effects regression analysis and adjusting for resident case mix and changing organizational characteristics. The introduction of hospice services in a nursing home did not result in statistically significant changes in CNA staffing. Instead, increases in hospice volume resulted in small increases in CNA staffing. Specifically, the addition of 1000 hospice days, in a given year, resulted in an additional 0.79 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.373-1.211) CNA MPRD. The proposition that nursing homes may be decreasing their staffing as a result of receiving additional hospice staff was not supported by this study and, in fact, nursing homes were found to only slightly increase CNA staffing with increasing hospice volume.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2011 · Journal of palliative medicine
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: Among hospice patients who lived in nursing homes, we sought to: (1) report trends in hospice use over time, (2) describe factors associated with very long hospice stays (>6 months), and (3) describe hospice utilization patterns. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: We conducted a retrospective study from an urban, Midwest cohort of hospice patients, aged ≥65 years, who lived in nursing homes between 1999 and 2008. MEASUREMENTS: Demographic data, clinical characteristics, and health care utilization were collected from Medicare claims, Medicaid claims, and Minimum Data Set assessments. Patients with overlapping nursing home and hospice stays were identified. χ(2) and t tests were used to compare patients with less than or longer than a 6-month hospice stay. Logistic regression was used to model the likelihood of being on hospice longer than 6 months. RESULTS: A total of 1452 patients received hospice services while living in nursing homes. The proportion of patients with noncancer primary hospice diagnoses increased over time; the mean length of hospice stay (114 days) remained high throughout the 10-year period. More than 90% of all patients had 3 or more comorbid diagnoses. Nearly 20% of patients had hospice stays longer than 6 months. The hospice patients with stays longer than 6 months were observed to have a smaller percentage of cancer (25% vs 30%) as a primary hospice diagnosis. The two groups did not differ by mean cognitive status scores, number of comorbidities, or activities of daily living impairments. The greater than 6 months group was much more likely to disenroll before death: 33.9% compared with 13.8% (P < .0001). A variety of patterns of utilization of hospice across settings were observed; 21% of patients spent some of their hospice stay in the community. CONCLUSIONS: Any policy proposals that impact the hospice benefit in nursing homes should take into account the difficulty in predicting the clinical course of these patients, varying utilization patterns and transitions across settings, and the importance of supporting multiple approaches for delivery of palliative care in this setting.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · Journal of the American Medical Directors Association