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When Hospice Care Goes Wrong

Steve Lopez, a Los Angeles Times columnist, is shining a spotlight on problems with hospice care in California through an ongoing series of articles inspired by poor end of life care for his parents. While recognizing the noble work of hospice caregivers, the columns explore a wide array of troubling issues: the explosive growth of hospice agencies; the rise of corporate hospices; conflicts of interest between hospitals and hospices; layers of fraud; poor staffing; broken care promises; avoidable suffering by hospice patients; lack of oversight and no accountability. The columns also illustrate the challenges families often face in choosing a hospice agency due to aggressive marketing, pressure by hospital staff, lack of comparative information to distinguish good hospice agencies from bad ones, and imminent discharge deadlines.

Read the columns: