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Hospice Care and Palliative Care - There is a Difference and There is an Acute Specialty Physician Shortage.

By Heidi Johnson and Sheila Bixler,
Healthcare Recruitment Link Founders

Hospice Care and Palliative Care protocols call for patients to receive a combined care approach regarding medications, day-to-day care, counseling, and symptom treatment.  Where they differ greatly is in the care location, timing, payment and eligibility for services.

Outlined below are a few points of interest including supply and demand forecast for this vital and growing specialty of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

  • Hospice is a specific type of palliative care for people who likely have 6 months or less to live. In other words, hospice care is always palliative, but not all palliative care is hospice care.  Hospice is a specific type of palliative care reserved for patients with terminal illness or within six months of death. Hospice is generally provided in the patient’s home.
  • Palliative Care is whole-person care, provided at any stage of illness, that relieves symptoms of a disease or disorder, and whether or not the patient is terminal.  The objective is pain and symptom relief. Palliative Care programs can be inpatient or community-based.
  • According to the AMA, there are approximately 6,400 active Hospice and Palliative Medicine (HPM) physicians in the U.S. or 13.35 per 100,000 adults aged 65 years or older.
  • AAHPM projects the need in 2040 will range from 10,640 to almost 24,000 HPM specialists. The supply will range from 8,100 to 19,000.
  • In addition to the physician shortage, patient access to Palliative Care is inconsistent and based on insurance coverage. Those with traditional Medicare fee-for-service coverage would likely be able to access home-based palliative care only if they had the resources to pay for it out of pocket.  Patients with Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, and some types of commercial insurance are likely to have services covered but only in some states.
  • Current median compensation for non-academic Hospice and Palliative Medicine Physicians, across all U.S. regions, ranges from $225,892 to $240,765.

The team at Healthcare Recruitment Link (H-R-L) has had the distinct pleasure of assisting Hospice and Palliative Care organizations with their physician and executive leadership recruitment needs.  We hold this specialty near and dear to our hearts.

Complimentary Market Analysis & Compensation Report

If you would like a comprehensive copy of our Hospice and Palliative Medicine Market Analysis and Compensation Report, please contact us by clicking here.  The report includes additional specialty statistics and compensation broken down by U.S. region, physician and advanced practitioner, and academic/non-academic practice.

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