Hospice pharmaceutical cost trends

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Abstract

Hospices are required to provide Pharmaceuticals under the Medicare Hospice Benefit. Since there are no data describing these costs for hospice programs, this study analyzes data from a cross-sectional survey of 34 hospices concerning their pharmaceutical cost trends. Most respondents reported higher pharmaceutical-related costs between 1998 and 2002, but a significant minority reported that their costs had decreased. Pharmaceutical costs varied by patient setting, but long-acting opioids and continuous-infusion delivery systems were the two most significant contributors. A variety of mechanisms were employed to control drug costs.

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