Wednesday, October 30, 2013

NHPCO Releases 2013 Facts and Figures for Hospice Care in America

Every Fall the National Hospice and Palliative CareOrganization releases the Hospice Facts and Figures report, just in time for National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. The format overall is relatively the same with some minor differences.  Overall, the same trends we have seen over the past few years have kept going in the same direction with the same velocity:
  • Increased # of patients served* (1.5M)
  • Increasing average length of service (71.8d)
  • Decreased median length of service (18.7d)
  • Slightly higher percentage of elderly patients served
  • Higher diversity of patients served
  • Increasing percentage of non-cancer diagnosis led by debility and dementia
  • Increasing number of hospice programs (5,500)
  • Increasing percentage of for-profit hospice programs
  • Increase in Inpatient Hospice (GIP) days
  • Declining satisfaction rates (although still high) 
*NHPCO revised some of their past estimates of total patients served and is currently using a line graph with confidence intervals instead of a bar graph with a single number.  At the end they have an Appendix which explains the data sources and the estimates.

I find this to be a very helpful guide to understanding end of life care in the United States and have shared and discussed it in IDG and with organizational leadership.  It serves as a helpful benchmark for a hospice program (in addition to the annual PEPPER reports) compared to national standards. It is also extremely helpful for presentations as you always want to make sure you are using the most up to date statistics on hospice care.  How do you use the NHPCO Facts and Figures?

I always thought it would be good to have a nice public spreadsheet with all the data from the past NHPCO Facts and Figures. (Although the report is copyrighted which we respect, it seems like a good crowdsourcing or Open Data project.) To save you from having to search for past PDFs I have listed all the ones I am familiar with here. Download them before the links are broken!  (If anyone has them from earlier please send them to me or add the link in the comments)

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