Chesapeake Palliative Medicine Rebrands as Chesapeake Supportive Care

Pasadena, Md.-based Chesapeake Palliative Medicine has rebranded as Chesapeake Supportive Care to shed stigma that arise from misconceptions about hospice and palliative medicine. Chesapeake Supportive Care is affiliated with Hospice of the Chesapeake.

Several hospices and palliative care providers nationwide have been rebranding in recent months, often due to the stigma or to reflect a diversified suite of services.

Part of the impetus is a drive to attract more patients to come under their wings. 

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“We felt — and the data shows — that we weren’t able to reach all the patients that we wanted while being called ‘palliative care.’ Last year, for example, we received about 1,800 referrals for palliative care, and only about 1,200 patients [enrolled],” Eric Bush, M.D., chief medical officer for Chesapeake Palliative Medicine and Hospice of the Chesapeake, told Hospice News. “Based on feedback we’ve received, the major reason why those 600 [opted out] is that patients and families really felt that palliative equals hospice, and a lot of times patients referred for palliative care feel that they’re not ready for that.” 

Many patients who would benefit from palliative care do not receive those services. An estimated 71% of adults in the United States are unaware that palliative care exists, studies have shown, even though nearly 80% of consumers who received background information on palliative care say would choose it for themselves or their loved ones.

Other research shows that close to 60% of patients who would benefit from palliative care do not receive those services, despite the availability of community-based palliative care as well as hospital-based palliative care.

“We really want to try to reach all the patients that we feel could really benefit from palliative or supportive care. You can have that academic debate about that, but we felt like changing to ‘supportive’ would allow us to get patients would get rid of one more barrier to receiving that care,” Bush said. 

Chesapeake is not alone in this thinking.

Hospice Hawaii in Dec. 2019 rebranded as Navian Hawaii to reflect its broadened scope of service. The hospice has begun offering integrated care for non-terminal patients who have serious illness.

Earlier in 2019, Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care took the name Helios Care to reflect its own expanded service likes and to distance itself from the stigma associated with hospice in the minds of many patients and families. The company cares for about 110 patients in three counties in largely rural segments of New York state.

Earlier this month, Community Hospice of Texas changed its name to Community Healthcare of Texas, indicating that the name change could make the organization more attractive to payers such as those who may participate in the Medicare Advantage hospice carve-in or the Primary Care First payment models.

“As health care evolves, it will allow us to introduce additional services as financing of these different types of care changes — whether it’s through the [Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation] projects or private insurers as they look at things like Medicare Advantage — in order to better manage their population, provide patients with better quality care and reduce costs,” Bush said. “Rebranding to ‘supportive’ is more encompassing, and there are some providers referral sources, health systems out there that truly understand that receiving supportive or palliative services further upstream only benefits the patient from a quality of life as well as quantity of life perspective.”

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