The Stark Differences Between Not-for-Profit and For-Profit Hospices

  • Study commissioned by National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation
  • Conducted by Milliman, a global actuarial and consulting firm
  • Study objective: Understand the differences and similarities in financial performance and quality of care between nonprofit and for-profit hospices serving Medicare beneficiaries


  1. Not-for-Profit hospices have an aggregate net margin of 3.0% vs. 19.9% for for-profit hospices.
  2. Not-for-Profit hospices provide patients with 10% more nursing visits, 35% more social worker visits, and two times as many therapy visits vs for-profit hospices per patient day.
  3. Inpatient stays—nonprofit hospices enroll a higher percentage of patients who have inpatient hospital stays immediately prior to hospice admission.  Suggests they may be high-acuity patients with greater care needs upon hospice enrollment.
  4. For-profit hospices report spending over 300% more on advertising costs than nonprofit hospices.
  5. For-profit hospices report spending less than half what nonprofit hospices report on bereavement services.