Dying or Lying? For-Profit Hospices and End of Life Care


The Medicare hospice program is intended to provide palliative care to terminal patients, but patients with long stays in hospice are highly profitable, motivating concerns about overuse among the Alzheimer’s and Dementia (ADRD) population in the rapidly growing for-profit sector. We provide the first causal estimates of the effect of for-profit hospice on patient spending using the entry of for-profit hospices over twenty years. We find hospice has saved money for Medicare by offsetting other expensive care among ADRD patients. As a result, policies limiting hospice use including revenue caps and anti-fraud lawsuits are distortionary and deter cost-saving admissions.

Theodore L. Caputi
Theodore L. Caputi
Economics & Health Researcher

My research interests include public health, health innovation, and health care.