Study Finds Quality Hospice Care Lowers Cost For Local Patients


The following is source material for the data in the above graphic.

A study of Medicare data conducted by Agrace HospiceCare, in partnership with Hospice Analytics, found that local people who utilized Agrace’s compassionate, high-quality care for the last three months of life experienced better quality of life and fewer trips to the hospital than people without hospice care.

2012 Medicare Part A and Part B data was used to develop two cohorts based on the following variables: Age, Gender, Death, Residence in Dane or Rock county, Cancer and Dementia Diagnoses. Nearly 3,300 patients were included, with roughly 1,650 patients in each cohort (Agrace Hospice and non-hospice). Part D activity was not part of the analysis

Results for 3-months prior to death AgracePatients Non-Hospice Patients % reduction for Agrace patients
% with at least one ED visit 37% 57% (20%)
% with an ICU admission 12% 34% (22%)
% with at least one admission 14.5% 72.5% (58%)
Daily health care expenses $173 $234 (26%)


“Compared to national averages for hospice patients, Agrace’s average daily costs are69% lower.”

Source: Ziad, et al. 2014. Association between the Medicare Hospice Benefit and Health Care Utilization and Costs for Patients with Poor=Prognosis Cancer. JAMA 2014;312(18):1888-1896.

In a study published in JAMA in 2014, authors used Medicare data to develop two comparison groups (hereafter referred to as hospice and non-hospice patients) based on five variables: Death during 2011 due to poor-prognosis cancer, Place of residence, Age, Sex, Time from poor cancer prognosis to death. Each comparison group was comprised of more than 18,000 patients. Health care utilization was assessed for each comparison group for the time frame associated with the number of days of hospice care prior to death (exposure period).

Mean length of exposure period = 11 days. HospicePatients Non-Hospice Patients % reduction for hospice patients
% with at least one hospital admission 42.3% 65.1% (22.8%)
% with an ICU admission 14.8% 35.8% (21.0%)
% Dying in SNF or Hospital 14.0% 74.1% (60.1%)
Daily health care expenses $556 $1,760 (68.4%)


“In order to provide exceptional care, Agrace spends on average 37% more per patient per day on nursing visits than national for-profit hospices.”

Nonprofit hospices typically spent about $36 a day per patient on nursing visits; for-profit hospices spent $30 per day, or 17 percent less.
Source: Washington Post, “Dying and profits: the evolution of hospice,” December 26, 2014. The Click here to read article.

Agrace spends $41 for nursing care per hospice patient per day.
Source: The Washington Post online hospice guide. The guide provides detailed information on more than 3,000 hospices using data gathered largely from government sources on hospices that participate in Medicare.

“97.2% of  families give Agrace a ‘5’ out of 5 and ‘highly recommend” Agrace’s services.”
Family satisfaction scores measured by Press Ganey.