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Number of Patients Receiving Hospice Care Increases

November 27, 2012

While Number of Patients Receiving Hospice Care Increases, Larger Percentage Have Short Length of Service

NHPCO Reports that 35.7 Percent of Hospice Patients Die or Were Discharged within 7 Days

(Alexandria, Va) – A record number of dying persons in the U.S. – an estimated 1.65 million patients – received care from the nation's hospices in 2011, reports the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

Approximately 44.6 percent of all deaths in the U.S. were under the care of a hospice program. This is up from 41.9 percent in 2010.

While there is an increase in the number of patients cared for, NHPCO reports that 35.7 percent died or were discharged within seven days of admission, up from 35.3 percent in 2010.

"We continue to see more dying Americans opting for hospice care at the end of their lives, yet far too many receive care for a week or less," said J. Donald Schumacher, PsyD, NHPCO president and CEO. "We need to reach patients earlier in the course of their illness to ensure they receive the full benefits that hospice and palliative care can offer."

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