Hospitalization and hospice care provide different services. Hospitalization is used to treat all kinds of ailments with the goal of restoring health, but hospice care is focused only on providing support to those who are dying. Understanding the differences between hospitalization and hospice care is important as people reach the end of the lives, so they can make informed choices about how and where they spend their final days.
The Journal of the American Medical Association defines hospice care as end-of-life support provided health care professionals, friends, family and volunteers. Their goal is to make the medical and emotional process of dying as peaceful and comfortable as possible, supplying both the patient and the family with spiritual and psychological support. Care often focuses on easing pain and emotional distress. Hospice care can be provided in a nursing home, a hospital, in specialized hospice settings or at the patient’s home.
- The Journal of the American Medical Association defines hospice care as end-of-life support provided health care professionals, friends, family and volunteers.
- Their goal is to make the medical and emotional process of dying as peaceful and comfortable as possible, supplying both the patient and the family with spiritual and psychological support.
Glycerine Vs. Glycol
While hospice care is focused on easing the process of dying, hospitalization’s primary focus is on sustaining life. End-of-life care can be administered in a hospital setting, but the National Institute on Aging states that most people choose hospital care because they want access to the physicians and life-support systems that can help them extend life, rather than begin the process of dying 1.
Qualification for Care
Hospitalization is an option for anyone who has the means to pay for it. Hospice care is usually only available for those who are considered terminally ill and who have a life expectancy of six months or less, says the National Cancer Institute 12. A doctor’s referral is generally required before someone is admitted to a hospice program.
What Is Restorative Nursing Home Care?
According to the American Cancer Society, one of the key differences between hospitalization and hospice care is that family and friends often provide the majority of care for those under home-based hospice care 2. In a hospital setting, doctors, nurses and other health care specialists provide the majority of care. While hospital professionals focus primarily on the health of the body, hospice professionals address spiritual and psychological needs, as well.
The cost of both hospitalization and hospice care are usually paid through private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid or other forms of payment. Hospice care tends to be less expensive than hospitalization because friends and family can act as caregivers, reducing the cost of health care professionals, and high-cost life-saving technology is rarely used.
Hospice care might provide more financial flexibility for patients, because facilities are often supported through contributions from the community, volunteer workers and endowments from the families of former patients. Some hospice organizations offer free services to patients with no ability to pay, while others charge based on the patient’s ability to pay.
- The cost of both hospitalization and hospice care are usually paid through private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid or other forms of payment.
- Hospice care tends to be less expensive than hospitalization because friends and family can act as caregivers, reducing the cost of health care professionals, and high-cost life-saving technology is rarely used.
Glycerine Vs. Glycol
What Is Restorative Nursing Home Care?
Acute Care Vs. Chronic Care Vs. Long-Term Care
End of Life Stages in Lymphoma Cancer
Advantages & Disadvantages of Primary Health Care
List of Long-Term Acute Care Hospitals
Ethical Dilemmas in Mental Health Nursing
List of Non-Profit Health Care Agencies
How the Hospital Swing Bed Program Works
Ethical Implications of Medical Necessity
- National Cancer Institute: Hospice
- American Cancer Society: Who Pays for Hospice Care?
- National Institute on Aging. What are palliative and hospice care?. Updated May 17, 2017.
- Driessen J, West T. The opportunities and challenges of including hospice in the Medicare Advantage benefits package. Pub Policy Aging Rep. 2018:28(3):100-4. doi:10.1093/ppar/pry026
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Medicare benefit policy manual: Chapter 9 - Coverage of hospice services under hospital insurance. Revised September 14, 2018.
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Medicare benefit policy manual: Chapter 6 - Hospital services covered under Part B. Revised January 15, 2020.
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Medicare benefit policy manual: Chapter 15 – Covered medical and other health services. Revised July 12, 2019.
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Medicare benefit policy manual: Chapter 7 - Home health services. Revised March 22, 2019.
- Ghesquiere AR, Aldridge MD, Johnson-Hürzeler R, Kaplan D, Bruce ML, Bradley E. Hospice services for complicated grief and depression: Results from a national survey. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2015;63(10):2173-80. doi:10.1111/jgs.13656
- Tabler J, Utz RL, Ellington L, et al. Missed opportunity: Hospice care and the family. J Soc Work End Life Palliat Care. 2015;11(3-4):224-43. doi:10.1080/15524256.2015.1108896
- National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. Facts and figures: Hospice care in America. July 3, 2019.
- Buss MK, Rock LK, Mccarthy EP. Understanding palliative care and hospice: A review for primary care providers. Mayo Clin Proc. 2017;92(2):280-6. doi:10.1016/j.mayocp.2016.11.007
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Medicare claims processing manual: Chapter 11 - Processing hospice claims. Revised April 19, 2019.
- Chung K, Burke SC. Characteristics of hospice patients utilizing hospice inpatient/residential facilities. Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2013;30(7):640-7. doi:10.1177/1049909112469717
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. An overview of the Medicaid hospice benefit. Updated February 2016.
- Kaiser Family Foundation. Medicaid benefits: hospice care. Updated 2018.
- Keim-Malpass J, Hart TG, Miller JR. Coverage of palliative and hospice care for pediatric patients with a life-limiting illness: a policy brief. J Pediatr Health Care. 2013;27(6):511-6. doi:10.1016/j.pedhc.2013.07.011
- Chung K, Jahng J, Petrosyan S, Kim SI, Yim V. Assessment of levels of hospice care coverage offered to commercial managed care plan members in California: implications for the California health insurance exchange. Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2015;32(4):440-7. doi:10.1177/1049909114526298
- Parikh RB, Wright AA. The Affordable Care Act and end-of-life care for patients with cancer. Cancer J. 2017;23(3):190-3. doi:10.1097/PPO.0000000000000264
- Rahman AN. Who knew? Hospice is a business. What that means for all of us. Gerontologist. 2017 Feb;57(1):12-8. doi:10.1093/geront/gnw077