Understanding and Improving Hospice Enrollment

Understanding and Improving Hospice Enrollment

David Casarett

Hospice is considered the “gold standard” for end-of-life care, providing dying patients and their families access to a broad array of services across settings. Despite its comprehensive approach, hospice care remains underutilized; many patients who might benefit from hospice do not enroll, or enroll only in the last days of life. This Issue Brief summarizes a series of studies that shed light on the decision making process about hospice, and describes a simple, effective way to improve referrals to hospice among nursing home residents.