Harden Healthcare Hospice Operations Confirm Trend: Hospice Use Continues to Rise Nationwide

AUSTIN, Texas, March 29, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) recently released its 2011 Facts and Figures: Hospice Care in America report showing that hospice use continues to rise in the United States. Harden Healthcare, which operates hospice companies in 14 states, has seen an increase in the demand for hospice care over the past few years.

"The findings in this report support what we see every day," Lew Little, chief executive officer of Harden Healthcare, said. "An increasing number of patients and their families are realizing the unique blend of clinical, social and spiritual support services that hospice care provides. Hospice services allow them to focus on spending quality time with friends and family rather than on care-giving details during this difficult time. Hospice is also there to support the family after the loss of a loved one."

The NHPCO report revealed the following statistics.

Almost 42 percent of all deaths in the United States took place under hospice care in 2010.

An estimated 1.58 million patients received hospice services in 2010.

The median time people spent in hospice care before dying was about 20 days.

Sixty-six percent of hospice patients died in their homes; 42 percent in a private residence other than their own homes; 21 percent in a "hospice house" and 18 percent in nursing homes.

Hospice patients died mostly of cancer (35.6 percent), followed by heart disease (14.3 percent).

The first hospice program in the United States opened in 1974, and currently, there are more than 5,000 programs nationwide.

The Medicare hospice benefit, enacted by Congress in 1982, is the major source of funding for hospice care.

Harden Healthcare is an Austin, Texas-based company that provides a continuum of healthcare services, primarily for seniors, and has operations in 14 states. The company's Hospice Division is one of the largest hospice providers in the Central U.S., serving seven states. Harden's hospice companies include: Omega Hospice in Alabama, Alpine Hospice and Colorado Hospice in Colorado, Georgia Hospice in Georgia, Iowa Hospice in Iowa, Hospice Care of Kansas in Kansas, AmHeart Hospice and Hospice Care of the Midwest in Missouri, and American Hospice and Lighthouse Hospice in Texas. Harden's hospice companies provided care for more than 10,000 patients in 2011.

"We take pride in our industry and in the work we do to provide quality of life and dignity to patients facing end-of-life illnesses and support for their families," Little said.

About Harden Healthcare
Based in Austin, Texas, Harden Healthcare is a leading senior healthcare services provider. With services including home health, hospice care, assisted living, skilled nursing and rehabilitation, Harden serves the entire post-acute continuum of care. The company strives to provide the best care for its patients, and a sense of pride and purpose for its associates. Harden was named a "2011 Top Workplace" in the Austin area based on employee feedback. Today, Harden's family of companies serves almost 40,000 patients a day in 14 states.

Contact: Meg Meo or Meredith Michelson(512) [email protected] or [email protected]

SOURCE Harden Healthcare

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