More than 1.3 million patients are cared for by hospices each year; most are seniors. In fact, 82% of hospice patients are aged 65 and older and at least 10% have dementia.1 Consultant and senior care pharmacists and pharmacies provide invaluable, cost-effective medication-related services to this practice setting.
Hospices that accept Medicare payment – 93% of which do1 – must comply with new federal regulations beginning in December 2008! Those regulations require hospices to consult with an “individual with education and training in drug management.” This is a prime opportunity for consultant and senior care pharmacists to market and sell their services to hospices.
Dispensing pharmacies play a huge role in hospice as well. For example, pharmacies supplying hospices often provide emergency pain medications and “stat” deliveries in addition to compounding alternative dosage forms for medications. The average hospice spends $123,842 annually to provide medications and biologics for its patients or $15.72 per patient day.2 Hospices rely upon pharmacies to help them manage costs and to provide timely, personalized services.
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