Does Hospice Save Medicare Money?

Does hospice save money for the Medicare program and does hospice have any effect on out-of-pocket expenses incurred by families of terminally ill Medicare beneficiaries? The study focused on the Medicare hospice benefit. The researchers conducted a literature review and empirical analyses to answer the above questions. They hypothesized that “hospice can provide effective palliative treatment to terminally ill patients while saving money for the Medicare program, by reducing expensive curative care that must be foregone to obtain hospice benefits.” The objective of this study was to inform policymakers about key issues that affect the ability of hospice to save money, including length of stay, underlying disease, and the propensity of hospice and non-hospice patients to use health care services.