NHPCO Debunks Hospice Myths

The choice for end-of-life care is deeply personal and should be made by patients, in consultation with loved ones and medical personnel, with a thorough understanding of the prognosis, the various care options available, and the implications of each of those options.

In a recent article published by The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, the organization sought to clear up some myths surrounding hospice care. Here’s one of them…

Myth: After entering end-of-life care, “patients don’t typically live long.”

Reality: The median length of stay in hospice care is 17 days and the average lifetime length of stay is 92.1 days, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.

By sharing information about his personal end-of-life journey, former President Carter has helped Americans understand this reality. President Carter entered hospice care in February 2023 and as of today has been on hospice for more than four months.

To qualify for hospice under Medicare, a patient must have a prognosis of six months or less to live if the disease runs its normal course. Some patients can and do outlive their prognosis, and in those cases the patient can be recertified for continued hospice care.

Study after study after study have shown that hospice patients tend to live longer than patients with similar diagnoses who do not choose hospice care. Research also shows that hospice care—at any length of stay—benefits patients, family members, and caregivers, including increased satisfaction and quality of life, improved pain control, reduced physical and emotional distress, and reduced prolonged grief and other emotional distress.

Posted in Press Releases.