Staff shortages force patients to wait for hospice care

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Staff shortages in hospice facilities around the country are causing some facilities to postpone patient care, according to an Oct. 16 report from The New York Times

Even short waits can lead to loss of valuable care, since many patients put off enrolling and Americans spend a median of 18 days in hospice care. 

Administrators say the shortages stem partly from staff being exhausted by visiting patient homes during the worst of the pandemic. 

These shortages also reflect economic pressures faced by hospice staff, as hospice nurses typically earn less than nurses employed by hospitals or traveling nurse agencies. Many facilities are trying to recruit staff with sign-on bonuses.

Vaccination resistance has also contributed to the shortages.

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