Record 1.56 Million Patients Receive Hospice Care New Report Shows


As World Hospice and Palliative Care Day Approaches, NHPCO Releases Report on Hospice Care in the U.S.

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An estimated 41.6 percent of all people who died in the U.S. last year were under the care of a hospice program, reports the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (up from 38.8 percent in 2008 and 35 percent in 2007).

"This rising statistic shows that more Americans facing a life-limiting illness are opting for care that addresses medical, emotional, and spiritual needs at the end of life," said J. Donald Schumacher, NHPCO president and CEO. "And that is the compassionate care that hospice and palliative care brings to patients and families in need."

NHPCO's annual publication, Facts and Figures: Hospice Care in America reports on hospice trends and provides updated information on the growth, delivery, and quality of hospice care in the U.S.

Findings include:

  • A record 1.56 million people with a life-limiting illness received care from the nation's hospice providers.
  • The average length of service remained steady at 69 days. Median length of service was also steady at 21.1 days (that means half of hospice patients received care for less than three weeks and half received care for more than three weeks).
  • Routine home care accounted for 95.9 percent of patient care days.
  • At 68.8 percent, the majority of hospice care was provided in the home, whether the patient's home is a private residence, nursing home, or residential facility.

Findings from the report are based on data from NHPCO's annual survey, the National Data Set, and NHPCO membership data. Secondary sources include Medicare Provider of Services certification data, Medicare hospice cost report data, state-mandated data submissions and state association membership surveys.  

The report is being released only days before World Hospice and Palliative Care Day on October 9, a global day of awareness promoting greater awareness of quality care at the end of life. NHPCO hopes that the release of this new report will help underscore the theme of this year's World Day, "Share the Care."

Facts and Figures: Hospice Care in America is available in the News Room section of NHPCO's website,

Direct link to the PDF report:

For more information about hospice, palliative care, and advance care planning, visit NHPCO's Caring Connections at or call the HelpLine at 800-658-8898.



Jon Radulovic


Vice President of Communications


Ph: 703-837-3139


[email protected]


SOURCE National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization

CONTACT: Jon Radulovic, Vice President of Communications of NHPCO, +1-703-837-3139, [email protected]

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