In 2002, the Veterans Administration (VA) began work on a system-wide hospice and palliative care program including investment in new hospice inpatient units, palliative care staff and training, mentoring for leaders and staff and a quality monitoring program. In 2009, the Comprehensive End-of-Life Care (CELC) initiative began. Between 2007 and 2014, trends in hospice use among male veterans 65 and older were analyzed and compared to the rate of growth of Medicare beneficiaries in the same demographic area who were not receiving VA care. Rates of increased hospice use were two percentage points higher compared to increases for Medicare beneficiaries. It was also estimated that over 17,000 more veterans received hospice care in fiscal years 2010 to 2014 compared to prior years.
Link to Futurity (7/2017)