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Research Letter
February 6, 2017

Hospice Access for Undocumented Immigrants

Author Affiliations
  • 1Duke Palliative Care, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina
  • 2Duke University Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
  • 3Geriatrics Research, Education and Clinical Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
  • 4Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina
  • 5Division of Geriatrics, Department of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina
JAMA Intern Med. Published online February 6, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.8870

The 11.2 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States are not covered by the Medicare Hospice Benefit, and most are uninsured.1,2 Aging of undocumented patients owing to increasing lengths of residence1 in the United States is likely to increase hospice demand, and undocumented immigrants are the largest demographic group explicitly excluded from Affordable Care Act provisions.3 Clinicians have reported challenges in obtaining hospice for undocumented immigrants4; however, little is known about hospice access in this population. Therefore, this study examined hospice agency practices and access for undocumented immigrants.

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