Inappropriately Transferring Patients to Hospice Could Be Reducing Reported Mortality Rates at HCA Hospitals Nationwide to Boost Bonuses and Profits
HCA's executive compensation is tied to the company's in-hospital mortality rate. Executives earn bonuses if they reduce the reported rate that patients die in HCA hospitals, creating a possible incentive to encourage the practice of quickly shifting seriously ill patients to hospice.
A shocking new report finds HCA's average Medicare hospice transfer rate was nearly 40% higher than the national average in 2021.
Analysis of Medicare data also found the rate of patients who die on the same day they are transferred to hospice from HCA hospitals has more than doubled since 2017 – a rate far above the national average.
Why this alleged practice is so dangerous:
Shifting patients too soon to hospice could mean withholding life-saving care for vulnerable patients.
Transferring patients to hospice when they are about to die reduces reported in-patient mortality rates and may mask potential widespread problems at hospitals.
Together, we can hold HCA accountable and put an end to profits over patient care at HCA.