NY Times - "On the Way to Hospice, Surprising Hurdles"
A study in the journal Health Affairs recently pointed out that hospices themselves may be turning away patients because of certain restrictive enrollment policies. It's possible, too, that physicians who know of these policies aren't referring patients whom the doctors fear wouldn’t qualify. Surprisingly, this randomized national survey of almost 600 hospice programs represents the first broad inquiry into enrollment practices, though it's been nearly 30 years since hospice became a Medicare benefit. Nearly 80 percent of hospice programs, the study found, reported having at least one policy that could restrict access. "It represents a barrier to people who want hospice care but can’t receive it," said lead author Dr. Melissa Aldridge Carlson, a geriatrics and palliative care researcher at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Learn more