Case Study

Providing Hospice Benefits for Medicaid Recipients Helps Patients and State Budgets

Providing Hospice Benefits for Medicaid Recipients Helps Patients and State Budgets

State-administered Medicaid programs ensure that vulnerable populations, including elderly, disabled, and low-income adults, have access to healthcare services; however, states are eager to reassess spending on Medicaid to improve overall state budgets. Hospice is an essential service for individuals and families who face the daunting need for end-of-life services. Without access to hospice, Medicaid participants tally high medical bills for the state and ultimately receive a lower quality of care.

The Missouri Hospice Palliative Care Association (MHPCA) was able to demonstrate to state legislators in Missouri that keeping hospice services available for Medicaid recipients resulted in cost savings to the state program. Their research revealed that Medicaid patients who received hospice care and died cost the state 41-42% less in 2011 and 2012 than patients who received similar care through traditional hospital services. The study further determined that making hospice care available as early as possible to patients with advanced, life-limiting illnesses and disabilities resulted in additional cost savings of 40% to Missouri’s Medicaid program. This research convinced Missouri state legislators to reconsider their planned budget cuts and maintain hospice services through the state’s program.

This study is the primary reason the Medicaid Hospice Benefit has been preserved in Missouri since 2015 — providing valuable end-of-life care services to Missouri Medicaid recipients for several years.

—Dr. Cordt T. Kassner, Principal, Hospice Analytics

Did you know?

The demand for senior healthcare services is anticipated to grow by 75% in the next decade.

Participating Organizations

Missouri Hospice Palliative Care Association (MHPCA)