Hospice Is a Profitable Business, but Nonprofits Mostly Do a Better Job
Nearly three-quarters of hospice organizations are now for-profit. Complaints of fraud and profiteering are growing.
In the nearly 20 years that Megan Stainer worked in nursing homes in and around Detroit, she could almost always tell which patients near death were receiving care from nonprofit hospice organizations and which from for-profit hospices.
There were really stark differences, said Ms. Stainer, 45, a licensed practical nurse. Looking at their medical charts, the nonprofit patients always had the most visits: nurses, chaplains, social workers.
The nonprofit hospices responded quickly when the nursing home staff requested supplies and equipment. By contrast, she said, if you called and said, I need a specialized bed, with for-profits it could take days days when the patient is in a bed thats uncomfortable.
Ms. Stainer, now a private duty nurse and certified death doula in Hamburg, Mich., also found nonprofits more willing to keep patients enrolled and for-profits more prone to live discharge removing patients from hospice ostensibly because they no longer met the criteria for declining health, then re-enrolling them later.