California-based Yolo Hospice is growing its palliative care and education program, branded as YoloCares, following a $100,000 investment from the health system Sutter Health.
YoloCares offers clinical and palliative care education for community health partners, faith leaders, physicians and the general public. With the additional funds, which will be spread over two years, the program is expected to reach 200 more people in the hospice’s three-county service area, which overlaps with Sutter Health’s.
“Yolo Hospice is honored to partner with Sutter Health to broaden and deepen our palliative care program,” said Yolo Hospice CEO Craig Dresang. “This significant grant commitment from Sutter allows Yolo Hospice to focus on reaching more community members in need and to expand our peer-to-peer and community education on palliative care and advance care planning. We look forward to working closely with Sutter to help close gaps in care access across our mutual service area and spread knowledge about and access to life-enhancing palliative care throughout our communities.”
Sutter Health used a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) tool to identify health care priorities for the 200,000 residents of their service region. CHNA helps indicate vulnerable populations and areas in which patients and families have unmet needs. Health systems and other providers can use the data to guide investment decisions.
Wider access to disease management services, primary care and extended care were recently identified by CHNA as priority concerns.
“As a not-for-profit organization, Sutter Health reinvests in the areas we serve,” said Rachael McKinney, CEO of Sutter Davis Hospital. “YoloCares provides valuable support to the local medical community and patients with serious illnesses at critical times in their health journey and does so with compassion.”
Efforts have been underway in recent years among health care providers, state governments, advocacy groups and payers, among others, to make community based palliative care more accessible to patients and families.
Community-based palliative care can reduce total health care costs by 36%, a Turn-Key Health paper indicated. These services can also reduce hospital admissions by 48%, resulting in 28% cost savings per patient day. In the outpatient setting, community-based palliative care has been shown to reduce emergency department visits by 35% and hospitalizations by 50%.
The Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) reported last year that at least half of the in-home palliative care providers in the United States are hospices.