Hospice is facing unprecedented public criticism. In recent months, The Washington Post has published at least four highly critical articles, alleging widespread instances of poor care and fraud. In June, The Huffington Post published a long investigative piece largely targeting the practices of the for-profit hospice operator Vitas Healthcare Corp.
What’s this about? How did a movement aimed at comforting the dying become a target for widespread allegations of fraud and patient abuse? Is the criticism legitimate? Here are a few thoughts:
Hospice has grown from a social movement to an industry. Largely thanks to Medicare reimbursement, hospice is big business.