Association of Hospice Agency Location and Neighborhood Socioeconomic Disadvantage in the U.S.

Zainab Toteh Osakwe, Rose Calixte, Mandi Leigh Peterson, Sean G. Young, Izuagie Ikhapoh, Kaydeen Pierre, Jennifer T. McIntosh, Charles Senteio, Jean Louis Girardin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Despite the growing increase in the utilization of hospice in the U.S, disparities exist in the utilization of hospice. Accumulating evidence has shown that neighborhood characteristics have an impact on availability of hospice agencies. Objective: To assess the association between neighborhood social vulnerability and hospice agency availability. Methods: Using the Medicare Post-Acute Care and Hospice Provider Utilization and Payment Public Use Files (PAC PUF) for 2019. Hospice agency addresses were geocoded to the census tract level. Multivariable Poisson regression models were used to assess the association between socioeconomic status SVI theme and hospice agency availability adjusting for number of home health agencies, primary care health profession shortage, per cent Black, and Percent Hispanic at the census tract level and rurality. Results: The socioeconomic status SVI subtheme was associated with decreased likelihood of hospice agency availability (adjusted IRR (aIRR),.56; 95% CI,.50-.63; P <.001). Predominantly Black, and predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods had lower rates of hospice agency availability (aIRR,.48; 95% CI,.39-.59; P <.001 and aIRR,.29; 95% CI,.24-.36; P <.001), respectively. Conclusion: Neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage was associated with lower availability of hospice agencies. Policies aimed at increasing access to hospice should be cognizant of neighborhood socioeconomic disadvantage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)309-317
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2024
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


  • census tract
  • disparities
  • geographic variation
  • hospice
  • medicare
  • social vulnerability index


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