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Invited Commentary
March 2016

Variability in Hospice Care at the Very End of Life

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Geriatrics, Department of Internal Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, San Francisco, California
  • 3Division of Geriatrics, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City
  • 4George E. Wahlen Salt Lake City Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • 5Inspiration Hospice, Salt Lake City, Utah
JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(3):370-371. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.7931

More than 1.6 million individuals in the United States receive hospice care every year,1 which is provided by an increasing number of hospice agencies. What started with a few small nonprofit hospice agencies in the 1970s is now a multibillion-dollar industry comprising nonprofit and for-profit companies that have doubled in number in the last 10 years. With this growth comes concern about variability in services and the quality of care delivered by hospice agencies.