Hospice center is referred to as the place that provides end-of-life care to patients. At hospice, a team of health care professionals and volunteers provide care that focuses on palliation of seriously ill patients. They provide psychological, spiritual and medical support to the patient. The aim of hospice is to help diseased patients, who have less period of life span remaining, to have comfort, peace and dignity. Usually, patients to whom hospice services are provided are predicted to survive six months or even less than that. The caregivers try to cure pain and other symptoms so that patients can remain comfortable and alert as long as possible. Besides, hospice services also provide help and support to patient’s family. According to the place of providing these hospice services, hospice market is divided into four major segments:
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- Home hospice care
- Hospice center
- Skilled nursing facility
Among all of the above mentioned places, hospice centers followed by home hospice care are preferred by patients. Hospice centers are preferred because it provides a friendly environment to the patients where one does not feel lonely mainly due to the presence and accompany of similar patients. These centers also provide mental support to the patients through certain special activities such as meditation, spiritual speeches and parties.
The hospice market is increasing at faster pace majorly due to the increasing prevalence of the diseases among the growing aging population worldwide. According to the data of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDS), in 2010 there were 40 million people who aged 65 and above in United States accounting for 13% of the total population and CDC projected that around 20% of the population of U.S. would be under this category by 2030. Additionally, availability of large number of diverse programs according to the disease condition and economic condition of the patient is also helping the market to grow. According to the disease conditions special programs are designed by hospice providers on the basis of cancer, AIDS, heart diseases, kidney failures, liver diseases and many others.
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North America and Europe leads the global hospice market majorly due to the extensive support from the government to set up the infrastructure and other essential necessities required by hospice centers. Hospice care expenses in U.S. are mostly paid by the Medicare and Medicaid services and Department of Veterans Affairs. Additionally, most of the private insurance plans, health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and other managed care organizations also provide the expenses for hospice care in their plans and policies. Also, large number of community contributions, foundation gifts and memorial donations in U.S. are helping hospice market to give free services to poor patients. Asia-Pacific is currently at growth stages for hospice market and has set up few hospice centers with the help of government, private sectors and renowned doctors. For instance, Dr. L. J. Desouza, a cancer surgeon, has set up hospice centers in Mumbai, Goa and Delhi with the name Shanti Avedna Sadan. This center is focused on providing treatment for cancer patients. The countries which are majorly driving the hospice market in Asia-Pacific region include India, China, Japan and Taiwan.
Some of the market players in hospice market include AMEDISYS, Inc, Gentiva Health Services, LHC group, Almost Family, HCR Manor Care, Seasons Hospice and Pallative Care, AseraCare Hospice, Compassionate Care Hospice, Crossroads Hospice and Accent Care, Inc.