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Availability of Hospice in Rural Pennsylvania (2020)

May 12, 2020  | Health Care and Human Services

Hospice represents a specific form of palliative care that is typically delivered within the last six months of life. There is a strong evidence base that demonstrates the benefits that hospice has on quality of life and cost of care at the patients' end of life. Despite the reported benefits, hospice remains underused, with substantial geographic variation in hospice availability and use rates. Assuming similar patterns of hospice use, the research found that there will be significant increases in future hospice demand, based on projections of an aging population in rural Pennsylvania counties. Interviews with stakeholders - namely hospice care providers in rural Pennsylvania - validated hospice availability and use concerns related to travel time, and lack of choice for patients and families. They also highlighted issues related to using electronic health records in areas with poor internet or cell service. 

Executive Summary

Tags:  palliative care , aging population , hospice

Introducing the Center's new journal, Rural Policy: The Research Bulletin of the Center for Rural Pennsylvania.