Providers Face Challenges and Opportunities as Need for Pediatric Hospice Grows

Posted Sunday, May 2, 2021 

Most hospice patients are seniors, but the demand for pediatric hospice care is growing.

Children are often subjected to intensive and expensive treatments that may not improve their condition or relieve their symptoms.  Families need to understand the full spectrum of services that are available to them.

“Children with serious illness comprise less than 10% of the U.S. population but account for at least 50% of hospital resources for youth patients, according to the AAP study. This research indicated that childhood disease trajectories are often less predictable than those of adults, challenging the ability of physicians to predict the six-month prognosis typically involved in hospice care. This can lead to families avoiding hospice in favor of expensive and intensive medical interventions, though children are able to receive curative treatments concurrently.”

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