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The U.S. hospice movement: issues in development.

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  • Research Article


A grass-roots hospice care movement is underway in the United States modeled after recently popularized British hospice programs. Hospice care is intended to help the terminally ill maintain a personally acceptable quality of life until death. Attention should be given to ensuring the future viability of this service option by allowing for experimentation with and adaptation of existing models, and by integrating it with the overall health care system. Issues to be considered in integrating hospice care include utilization of existing resources, regional planning, standards and licensure, and reimbursement opportunities. Although hospice care may not have an immediate cost savings impact on the health care system, it could develop this capacity in the future. Such impact would not only assure a stable financial base for hospice care but would also affect bed use generally. Continuing dialogue among providers, consumers, and policy makers of various backgrounds is necessary to the effective and appropriate development of hospice care in the U.S.

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