Private equity finally delivered Sarah Palin’s death panels: Hospices are unregulated, heavily subsidized charnel houses.
The private healthcare sector is designed to deny care. Its first duty is to its shareholders, not its patients, and every dollar spent on care is a dollar not available for dividends.
Medicare pays private hospices $203-$1,462 per day to take care of dying old people – seniors that a doctor has certified to have less than six months left. That comes to $22.4b/year in public transfers to private hospices. If hospices [take] that $1,462 day-rate, they have lots of duties, like providing eight hours' worth of home care. But if the hospice is content to take the $203/day rate, they are not required to do anything. Literally. It’s just free money for whatever the operator feels like doing for a dying elderly person, including doing nothing at all.
This is absolute catnip for private equity – free government money, no obligations, no enforcement, and the people you harm are literally dying and can’t complain. What’s not to like?
One technique favored by corrupt hospices: Give the patients unlimited access to opioids, and when the cash fountain from the government runs dry, let the patients die of overdose. No autopsy when the victim dies in hospice care. Everybody wins!