Disruptions in Home Hospice Care due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Melissa D. Aldridge, Emily Franzosa, Patricia Kim, Emily Xu, Jennifer Reckrey, Meng Zhang, Duzhi Zhao, Katherine A. Ornstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: There is limited evidence regarding the challenges of providing hospice care to those dying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Objective: To describe the challenges of home hospice care and the specific types of disruptions in care processes experienced by patients and families. Design: Qualitative study of the electronic medical record notes of a large New York City (NYC) home-based primary care program. Setting/Subjects: Subjects were 58 patients referred to hospice who died during the initial NYC COVID-19 surge from March to June 2020. Results: We identified six domains of disruptions in home hospice care: delayed hospice enrollment, inability to conduct home visits, lack of needed supplies, communication failures, strained caregivers, and limitations of telehealth. Conclusions: This study provides a critical first analysis of disruptions in home hospice care that can feasibly be addressed and must be prioritized by hospices throughout the ongoing pandemic and in advance of future emergencies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-247
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Palliative Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2023


  • COVID-19
  • New York City
  • end of life
  • home-based care
  • hospice
  • qualitative


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