• Do you want to make the best possible transition from medical care to end-of-life care for you or your loved one?
  • Are you unsure about how to evaluate the best hospice?
  • Are you familiar with the differences between for-profit and non-profit hospices?


If you are deciding on which hospice should provide care to you or your loved one, it might help to understand the differences between for-profit and non-profit hospices – and how those differences influence the outcome of patient care.  

There are many for-profit and non-profit hospices 

There are over 4,500 hospices in the United States, with for-profit hospices vastly outnumbering non-profit hospices. Medicare and private insurance companies both compensate for-profit and non-profit hospices at the same rate. All hospices must comply with the same state and federal regulations. 

What is the difference between for-profit and non-profit hospices?

Although they both care for patients and families facing a serious and life-limiting illness, for-profit corporations are in business to make money and pay dividends to their stockholders, while non-profits are formed to fulfill a compassionate mission.

A major difference between for-profit and nonprofit hospices is what happens at the end of the year. A for-profit hospice must pay tax on its profits and provide a financial return to its shareholders. 

Non-profit hospices are not required to pay taxes to state or federal governments on the funds they receive from Medicare or insurance (this tax exemption applies to all non-profits, not exclusively to hospice care). The nonprofit hospice often invests their funds to provide additional programs and services to patients and their families.

Charitable donations and foundations can make a difference

Whether you choose a for-profit or non-profit hospice, it should not make a difference in the quality of care, but it sometimes does. 

For-profit hospices are prohibited from using charitable donations from the community for direct patient care. Due to their financial structure, some hospices may be reluctant to provide additional services such as community education programs, palliative care consultations, transportation, meal delivery, complementary therapies or community bereavement programs. 

A non-profit hospice’s mission is to support everyone in their community regardless of their inability to pay. To that end, non-profit hospices care for people that do not have insurance and/or do not have adequate insurance coverage. 

Having a foundation can determine whether the hospice can provide additional services that go beyond the basic requirements such as complementary therapy, meal delivery to patients and families in need, transportation, or staff education. 

The profit status of a hospice is not nearly as important as the care provided 

Hospice providers, regardless of their business structure, are unified by the mission to provide high quality of end-of-life care to patients and families facing life-limiting illnesses. Besides considering whether the hospice is for-profit or non-profit when choosing a hospice, it’s important to learn how services are provided, the structure of the care team, and the special programs or additional services available to you or your loved one. 

Am I doing the right thing? 

The fact that you are exploring hospice care is a very positive sign. It means you are considering how to bring relief to an extremely ill person and their family. 

Nathan Adelson Hospice is the only nonprofit hospice in Southern Nevada

Nathan Adelson Hospice relies on donations to provide compassionate, comprehensive care and comfort to individuals in southern Nevada. Each year we provide millions of dollars of uncompensated care to those who are uninsured or underinsured. Also, we raise funds to provide wrap-around services that benefit patients, families, and the community, such as:

Elaine Wynn Palliative Care Program coordinates care for people struggling with a critical illness

Families in Need Program provides everyday necessities for those facing end of life

Meal Delivery Program brings nourishment to the homes of caregivers and families

Transportation Program helps critical patients with specialized transport

Camp Erin® provides bereavement support for children

Uncompensated Care Fund ensures no one is turned away because of their inability to pay

The Bonnie Schreck Memorial Complementary Therapies Program brings needed relief and comfort

Nathan Adelson Hospice Osteopathic Fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine trains and certifies physicians specifically in end-of-life care

What do I do now?

If you want additional information or would like to discuss a hospice referral, call the Nathan Adelson Hospice admission team at 702.733.0320. 

Nathan Adelson Hospice Foundation is incorporated in Nevada for charitable purposes to provide comprehensive end-of-life care. As an IRS-approved 501(c) (3) tax-exempt charity, your donation may be tax-deductible. EIN # 88-0197147. For more information, please contact the Foundation at 702.733.0320.

We can be your trusted partner

The philosophy of Nathan Adelson Hospice is to provide support and care so that people with a life-limiting illness may live as fully and comfortably as possible. We do all we can to make sure that no one in our care ends the journey of life alone, afraid or in pain.