Long-term hospice care driving up costs for Medicare

“Hospice care is another shining testament to our society caring for the dying. Hospice is a wonderful service of exceptional providers with one of the most difficult tasks in medicine. The hospice program must be protected from misuse that endangers its ability to continue its mission. This type of transparent accounting is necessary.” Bill Chesnut, MD

 Long-term hospice care driving up costs for Medicare_____AMA NEWS 2.19.16

The Wall Street Journal (2/19, A1, Weaver, Mathews, McGinty, Subscription Publication) reports on its front page that while Medicare’s hospice program is supposed to cover only patients who physicians certify are likely to die within six months, a Wall Street Journal analysis of billing records shows about 107,000 beneficiaries between 2005 and 2013 received hospice care for an average of nearly 1,000 days, driving up costs for the program.