Hospice Care Costs on Dementia

The RAND Corporation conducted a new study that set off a few red flames about the increasing cost of dementia within the U.S. healthcare system. According to RAND, dementia is one of the nation’s most expensive health conditions, charging the U.S. between $157 billion dollars and $215 billion dollars a year in health care and other expenses.

Compared to other common costly illnesses, the immediate healthcare expenses of treating dementia, approximated at $109 billion dollars in 2010, are in line with cardiovascular disease ($102 billion) and considerably greater than cancer ($72 billion). Beyond immediate healthcare expenses, it is approximated that an additional $48 to $106 billion dollars is spent on the unofficial care for dementia, which primarily includes lost wages and care provided by close relatives at home. The estimated growth is also eye opening, both the expenses and the number of individuals with dementia will more than double within 30 years, a rate that overrules many other serious illnesses. These incredible researches clearly strengthen the need for the U.S. to find better solutions for those suffering from dementia.


Medical health insurance rules require a doctor to approve that an individual coming into a hospital is likely to die within six months or less. Physicians are much more likely to do so when the disease is cancer or heart failure. As a result, too many sufferers are declined access to hospice care, which provides modern care (i.e. comfort care) for the dying and support for their family members. Without hospice care, those being affected by dementia may be exposed to several hospitalizations, obtrusive treatments and poor pain /symptom management.

Today, dementia sufferers are blatantly under served as less than 10% of people dying of dementia receive hospice care and often times are registered too late, within a few weeks of death. Relatively, more than 40% of People in America who die each year are in hospice care. The decision to put a loved one into hospice is without doubt one of life’s most difficult choices. But, better prognoses and education about the benefits of hospice may reduce struggling and needless medical costs.

Qualifying Hospice Care

Many people who are critically ill delay coming into hospice care until just a few days or even weeks before they die, in part because they or their loved ones don’t want to admit that there’s no hope for a cure. “It’s a hard decision to say yes to,” says Jeanne Dennis, senior V. P. at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York are able to, which provides hospice care to 900 sufferers daily, among other services. “Everybody knows it means you’re not going to get better.” A latest research released in the publication Health Affairs discovered that there may be another reason that sufferers don’t take advantage of the comprehensive solutions that hospice care provides: limited registration guidelines that may prevent sufferers from signing up.

The study of nearly 600 hospices nationwide discovered that 78 % had registration guidelines that might limit individual access to care, especially for those with high-cost healthcare needs. The guidelines included prohibitions on applying sufferers who are palliative radiation or blood transfusions or who are being fed intravenously. Medicare will pay the majority of hospice bills, and authorities have raised concerns in latest times about possible neglect of federal funds. Eighty-three % of hospice sufferers are 65 or older, according to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.

Holding Hands with Elderly Patient

To be eligible for a hospice care under Medical health insurance coverage, an individual’s doctor and a hospice healthcare home must approve that the affected person has six months or less to live. Patients must also agree not to seek healing care. Once an individual selects to enter hospice, the benefits include therapy for non-curative requirements such as pain and symptom management as well as emotional and religious support for sufferers and their loved ones. Most sufferers get hospice care at home. The Health Affairs research points out that some therapies typically considered healing also may be used to manage the symptoms of a dying individual. For example, someone might get radiation therapies to shrink a tumor to make breathing easier or be given a blood transfusion to reduce exhaustion.