The news source is ABC News and research was done by Dr. Melissa Wachterman.
According to the report posted online, the government of the United States has increased the amount of money they spend to $12 billion or more than 53% between 2005 and 2009 on hospice care through Medicare.
Hospice care is being provided to those terminally ill elderly through rendering palliative care which means giving comfort but not cure to the patients. Hospice care can be rendered in a specialized hospice care institution, in hospitals, long-term facility, or just at home. In relation, Medicare is a kind of federal insurance program that benefits people age 65 and older as well as some of those qualified disabled people. It helps these individuals to cover much of the health care excluding prescription drugs.
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According to study, government spends more for the hospice care because of the number of people who use the hospice service also increases. The Department of Health and Human Services has reported that in 2009 more than half of the hospice services were for profit. Hence, Medicare pays same rate to all hospices even if the government pays more to those profit-making providers.
On the other hand, Dr. Melissa Wachterman concerned was the possibility of “cherry picking” of patients who cost only less medically but requires a longer stay which can cause higher profit for those profit-making hospice providers. However, Schumacher stressed that there is no evidence as to patient selectiveness and added that it even saves the government funds compared to those who are not admitted to hospice care.
Therefore, it’s nice to know that the government shows great emphasis regarding Medicare which contributes a lot especially to those who need a hospice care.