More dying Americans than ever now spend their last days in the care of a hospice, a service that offers a gentle alternative to a hospital setting. Hospice providers give comfort to the terminally ill, often in their homes. The promise is of a dignified death, surrounded by loved ones.
But when a hospice fails in this mission -- for one, by putting patients in physical danger -- it almost always escapes sanctions. The federal government rarely punishes hospices that violate its health and safety rules, an examination by The Huffington Post reveals.