Home Health & Hospice

JAMDA: High hospice usage can reduce hospitalization risk for all nursing home residents

Homecare Insider, October 20, 2014

Hospice can reduce the risk of hospitalization for all residents at a nursing home—regardless of whether if they are enrolled in the end-of-life care services or not, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association (JAMDA).

Researchers with the University of California-Irvine, the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, and RTI International, a global research institute, set out to examine whether residing in facilities with a higher hospice utilization rate, or “penetration,” among residents 1) reduces the risk of hospitalization for non-hospice residents, and 2) decreases the risk for hospice-enrolled residents when compared to other hospice-enrolled residents in facilities that have a lower hospice penetration.
They found that for every 10% increase in hospice penetration, the risk of hospitalization decreases 5.1% for non-hospice residents and 4.8% for hospice-enrolled residents.
Overall, hospice-enrolled residents were less likely to be admitted to the hospital than their non-enrolled resident counterparts. In the last 30 days of life, approximately 37.6% of non-hospice residents were hospitalized, compared to 23.2% of hospice-enrolled residents. 
The results of the study are based on the retrospective analysis of a sample of 505,081 non-hospice and 241,790 hospice-enrolled residents in 14,030 facilities across the country who died during 2005–2007.
 “The findings shed light on nursing home end-of-life care delivery, collaboration among providers, and cost benefit analysis of hospice care,” the researchers stated in the abstract conclusion.
Click here to view the abstract.