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On the way to hospice, surprising hurdles

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It has been nearly 30 years since hospice care became a Medicare benefit, but according to a recent study, nearly 80 percent of hospice programs have at least one policy that could restrict access by patients with terminal conditions. More than 60 percent of hospices will not take patients on chemotherapy, and more than half won’t take patients relying on intravenous nutrition. Pallative radiation, blood transfusions and tube feeding are also problematic conditions for access.

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