Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Hospice - Graphics Text

Graphic 1

Vulnerabilities in Hospice Care

Over the past decade, hospice use has grown steadily. Medicare paid $16.7 billion for hospice care in 2016.

Since 2006:

  • 81% Increase in spending for hospice care
  • 43% Increase in the number of hospices
  • 53% Increase in the number of hospice beneficiaries

Graphic 2

Vulnerabilities in Hospice Care

Inappropriate billing by hospices costs Medicare hundreds of millions of dollars.

Graphic 3

Vulnerabilities in Hospice Care

Medicare should provide more information to the public, especially beneficiaries, about hospice performance so consumers can effectively compare hospice providers.

Graphic 4

Vulnerabilities in Hospice Care

Case example: nurses allegedly gave high doses of drugs, like morphine, regardless of whether patients needed it, to justify the higher hospice payments. Some of these excessive dosages resulted in significant injury or death. Source, DOJ Press Release:

Graphic 5

Vulnerabilities in Hospice Care

The current payment system creates incentives for hospices to minimize services and seek beneficiaries with uncomplicated needs.

Source, graphics 1, 2, 3, and 5: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General: Vulnerabilities in the Medicare Hospice Program Affect Quality Care and Program Integrity