Meeting Basic Needs: Social Supports and Services Provided by Hospice.
OBJECTIVE: Describe social goods and services for which hospices assist patients and families and the resources hospices use to do so. BACKGROUND: Basic social supports and services not routinely covered by insurers may be needed by terminally ill patients and their families. Little is known about hospices' provision of such social supports and services. METHODS: A 2014-2015 cross-sectional survey of hospices nationwide. Participating hospices had been in operation for at least 3 years and were located in any of the 50 states or District of Columbia. Hospices were surveyed about availability and sources of internal funds and referral to obtain basic social supports for patients. Descriptive statistics, bivariate analysis, and categorization were used to describe hospice practices. Measures included frequency and nature of goods and services provision in the prior year; and extent to which hospices used internal funds or community referral for goods and services. RESULTS: Over 80% (n = 203) reported internal funds covered services not reimbursed by insurers; 78% used funds in last year. Hospices used internal funds for food (81.7%), shelter (57.8%), utility bills (73.5%), and funeral costs (50%). Hospices referred patients/families to community organizations to obtain a similar range of services, including transportation, clothing, linens/towels, furniture/appliances, home repairs, and caregiver support. DISCUSSION: Hospices are using internal resources and accessing community resources to provide patients with basic social needs not routinely covered by insurance.
Boucher, NA; Kuchibhatla, M; Johnson, KS
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