U.S. hospice patients by length of stay 2017

In the United States, over a quarter of hospice patients receive service for just a week or less. Hospice care involves caring for those who are terminally ill. Such care usually does not include treatment but focuses instead on making the end of life as comfortable as possible. Hospice teams can include nurses, home health aides, social workers and physicians.

Hospice providers

Hospice care can be provided at the patient’s home or in a facility, such as a nursing home, hospital or hospice care center. In 2017, there were around 4,515 hospice providers in the United States. Most hospice agencies are freestanding independent hospices, while a much smaller portion are part of a hospital system or part of a home health agency.

Hospice patients

In 2017, there were around 1.5 million hospice patients in the U.S. Females account for a larger portion of hospice patients than males and unsurprisingly, the majority of hospice patients are older than 84 years. Most hospice patients are at home at the time of their death.

Distribution of U.S. hospice patients based on length of service in 2017

Percentage of hospice patients
1-7 days27.8%
8-14 days12.7%
15-30 days13.5%
31-60 days12.6%
61-90 days7.7%
91-180 days11.5%
More than 180 days14.1%
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Release date

July 2019


United States

Survey time period


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Statistics on "Hospice care"

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