Am J Hosp Palliat Care 2013 Nov 21;30(7):640-7. Epub 2012 Dec 21.
1Department of Health Sciences, California State University, Northridge, Northridge, CA, USA.
Given the increasing popularity of a hospice inpatient/residential facility (HIRF) among hospice patients and their family members, examining who uses HIRFs has been of increasing importance. Using the 2007 National Home and Hospice Care Survey (NHHCS), we found that about 14% of the hospice patients received care in an HIRF in 2007. Characteristics of patients associated with HIRF use largely match the industry norm for a general inpatient level of care and include having no caregiver or having an incapable caregiver; having imminent death; and being directly admitted to a hospice after discharge from a hospital. Given a recent stricter enforcement of reimbursement rules, however, we call for close monitoring of any change in the number of HIRF beds--particularly in rural and low-income urban areas.