Doctor holds cash dollar bills in his hands. Medical service fee concept

Hospice aides/certified nursing assistants received hourly pay hikes in 2022 that more than doubled the increases they received in 2021. Those workers received an average hourly rate increase of 9.09% this year compared to a 4.52%in 2021, according to the newest edition of the Hospice Salary & Benefits Report released Monday. 

California had the highest compensated hospice aides/CNAs, earning $21.05 an hour. Mississippi paid its aides/CNAs the lowest wages at $13.31 an hour.

Hospice agencies also increased the use of sign-on bonuses to attract staff. The report found more than half of agencies surveyed offered bonuses in 2022, with aides and CNAs receiving $2,038 on average, licensed practical nurses $4,056 and registered nurses receiving $6,630 on average.

But despite the heftier pay hikes and bonuses, turnover in the hospice industry continued to plague the industry in 2022. Turnover among aides and CNAs was just under 30% this year compared to 26.6% in 2021. As a result, about 8% of hospices surveyed said they continued to rely on contract workers to fill in care gaps, with an average of 262 hours contracted out per month in 2022.

The hospice industry has faced continued headwinds from the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, the Pennant Group reported hospice admissions increased 7.8% in the third quarter, however, daily census continued to decline in the past two quarters.  

This is the 31st year the Hospital & Healthcare Compensation Services has conducted its annual Hospice Salary & Benefits Survey. Approximately 675 hospices participated in the survey. Nearly all of the respondents were Medicare-certified agencies.