The World Health Organization report from September 2021 indicates that at least 55 million people worldwide currently have dementia, with that number projected to increase to around 10 million each additional year. As the 7th leading cause of death, experts expect this debilitating disease to significantly impact hospice, boosting the need for care by 40% by the year 2050. These field workers have a lot in front of them, facing healthcare cybersecurity issues and explosive patient numbers.
This drastic rise places strain on an industry that supplies essential and heartfelt care for people in their most vulnerable time. As your client’s insurance agent, be there to ease the upcoming challenge and provide them with insurance that meets their circumstances.
How Might This Dramatic Rise Impact Hospice Services?
The hospice industry faces several critical hurdles. This climb in patients puts pressure on organizations to recruit a larger workforce, improve retainment, bolster recertification efforts while delivering quality medical attention.
Furthermore, the agencies require additional financial support. One trouble for hospice is the growth of dementia patients as they often endure the illness for long periods, need different services and close watch. WHO reports show that care for people with dementia amounted to $1.3 trillion in 2019. By 2030, costs could go up as high as $2.8 trillion. With people living longer and more developing dementia signs, healthcare faces growing price tags. Insurance coverage is critical for the elderly as they require more assistance in treatment options and daily care.
How Might Hospices Prepare for Influx?
To adequately address this concern, hospice services must evaluate how they work with people and receive funding to alleviate some of the stress and hurdles they encounter. Thus, programs have begun to reassess where they treat inpatients and how they determine service needs.
Current laws for Medicare coverage deem patients enter hospice when medical physicals believe they have less than six months to live. This line is hard to determine as dementia patients could live years after losing memory and daily function. Industry leaders must appeal for Medicare change and assess when is the appropriate time to begin intervention.
In addition, some organizations have moved from individual home care to establishing more inpatient facilities focused solely on this illness. At present, dementia is different from end-of-life care. These patients see a decline in cognitive functioning, making it difficult for daily life activities to continue. They require pain management, reduction of anxiety and constant monitoring along with self-care. In one location, a hospice team could collaborate in their medical approach.
Be ready to assist with anything from healthcare cybersecurity to appropriate liability insurance. Hospice faces significant challenges in the future; give your clients guidance, ensuring that insurance isn’t one of them. Keeping them protected despite the various obstacles they may face.