New Jersey-based Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice, which cares for more than 11,000 patients annually, has rebranded as “Samaritan” to reflect its recently diversified service offerings and to position itself to participate in value-based care programs.
One of the earliest hospices to be founded in the United States, the nonprofit hospice in 2009 launched a palliative care program. In Dec. 2019, Samaritan began offering home-based primary care. The company has twice previously rebranded, once to Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice from Samaritan Hospice. Its original name was Hospice of Burlington County.
“We have been expanding our service offerings for several years. Those services have grown significantly since we did our last name change so they’re more impactful. We still are with those with more complex illness. However, we wanted people to know that they can access Samaritan’s help and service earlier in their continuum,” Samaritan CEO Mary Ann Boccolini told Hospice News. “This is a way to announce that we’re still here for you and in even more ways.”
The company’s new home primary care service, operating as Samaritan HomeVisit Physicians. offers traditional primary care, examinations, testing and diagnostics, chronic care coordination and medication management.
This continues a trend among hospices and palliative care providers nationwide that have been rebranding, often due to the stigma that often swirls around the word “hospice” or to reflect a diversified suite of services. Key objectives driving the trend is to engage patients further upstream in the course of their illnesses as well as to position their organizations to participate in value-based care programs such as Medicare Advantage or the forthcoming Primary Care First payment models, set to begging in 2021.
“Our motivation is multifaceted. First and foremost, it’s letting our community that we serve know we’re here for them in more ways than hospice alone,” Boccolini said. “For those that are paying for the care, the more that we can not only show them our quality and data, but the wider range of services we offer so that we can cover those transitions of care when people are most vulnerable. From a financial perspective that is the most costly time for payers.”
Simultaneous with the rebrand, Samaritan has established an Institute for Education, Research and Innovation. Through the institute, subject matter experts will present lectures, host workshops and lead discussion forums in a variety of settings for physicians, nurses and other professionals; students; participants from academic institutions; and social service agencies; as well as programs for the general public.
“Education and advocacy have always been part of Samaritan’s DNA. From the early days of our founders, they had to do a lot of education in the community and among health care professionals to get the organization started,” Joanne Rosen, vice president, marketing & public affairs, said. “In light of our history, experience and expertise, we feel it’s our responsibility to make that commitment to launch the institute.”