Study Surveys Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on General Inpatient Hospice Services

Hackensack University Medical Center study finds increased in-hospital hospice utilization during first COVID-19 surge

COVID Hospice Impact

While general inpatient hospice in the hospital setting had experienced increased acceptance at Hackensack University Medical Center leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic, center researchers wanted to better understand the pandemic’s impact on inpatient hospice utilization in this model of care.

They conducted a study, published in the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, comparing utilization of general inpatient hospice at Hackensack University Medical Center during the first COVID-19 surge (March 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020) to the pre-COVID period (November 1, 2019 to February 29, 2020) via retrospective chart review.

Hackensack University Medical Center has offered general inpatient hospice services within the hospital since 2013. Previous data had suggested increased acceptance of hospice and GIP care with this model leading prior to the pandemic.

COVID-19 outbreak increased both hospice referral and admission in the hospital-based model of care. The primary findings show increased hospice referrals during the study period (3.02%) compared to the pre-COVID time period (2.63%). And, general inpatient hospice admissions increased from 122/13 440 (.91%) in the pre-COVID period to 146/11 480 (1.27%) during the pandemic period.

A total of 54 patients were admitted to GIP with COVID-19. In general inpatient hospice patients with COVID-19, a majority of patients were white, 76 to 95 years old and experienced more than three comorbidities, led by hypertension. The next highest chronic condition was diabetes.

Researchers concluded that availability of general inpatient hospice care in the hospital setting may encourage acceptance and facilitation of these end-of-life care services.

Learn more about innovative geriatric care at Hackensack University Medical Center.

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