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Hospices Focus on Staff to Cut Turnover During Pandemic

May 62020

Even as COVID-19 puts new staffing pressures on hospice and palliative care providers, organizations continue to wrestle with ongoing staffing shortages. While organizations respond to the 

pandemic, the business of hospice continues — including the need to control routine issues such as staff turnover. The United States has 13.35 hospice and palliative care specialists for every 100,000 adults 65 and older, according to an April 2018 study. 

The research estimated that by 2040 the patient population will need 10,640 to 24,000 specialists; supply is expected to range between 8,100 and 19,000. Hospice and palliative care providers also experience shortages in non-physician disciplines, including chaplains, nurses, and social workers. As far back as 2008, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS) began allowing hospice providers to use contracted nursing staff because not enough nurses were available to fill permanent positions.