Profits up in California

The average profit per patient has grown steadily. The combination of more patients and far greater profit per patient has pushed overall inflation-adjusted profit up more than tenfold.

Net operating profit
per patient

Adjusted for inflation

$1,975

$353

Net operating profit
In millions

Adjusted for inflation

$265 million

$25
million

Causes

The profitability was driven by having patients stay in hospice longer. While the average stay for cancer patients has remained about the same, the average stay for non-cancer patients went from under six weeks to 11 weeks, a Post analysis found. Patients who stay longer yield more money for hospice operators.

Average care days

NON-CANCER

AVERAGE

CANCER

45

44

41

76

66

44

Industry growth

More than 130,000 California patients had hospice care in 2012, part of a steady increase.

Number of facilities

173

431

Number of patients

134,126

71,535

SOURCE: Washington Post analysis of hospice facility annual utilization data, 2002-12, from the Healthcare Information Division of California’s office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.