New York state-based Hospice of Orleans is rebranding as Supportive Care of Orleans effective Nov. 19. The company planned its rebranding to coincide with National Hospice & Palliative Care Month.
The organization pursued the rebrand to reflect the wider range of services it providers beyond hospice care, including palliative care, caregiver support, advance care planning, complementary services, bereavement care and a transitions program for the seriously ill. The company announced the rebranding in a Facebook Live event to allow for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We believe this change is the next logical step in delivering our care to more people,” said CEO Kellie Spychalski. “As our services have expanded and we’ve grown with the needs of our community, we believe that our new logo shows the strength of our organization, the diversity of the people we serve, our staff and our programs.”
The organization on average cares for 24 hospice patients, 15 palliative care patients and five transitions patients daily.
Hospice of Orleans’ rebranding is part of a growing trend in hospice care that sees providers diversifying their services to better assist patients, but also to change the general perception of hospice care. As hospices nationwide develop new services to engage patients further upstream, some are changing their brands to reflect their expanded scope and to avoid the word “hospice” in their company names, hoping to ameliorate patients’ anxiety about end-of-life care.
Hospice Hawaii, for example, changed its name to Navian Hawaii and markets itself as a provider of integrated care for patients with serious, but treatable, medical conditions. Likewise, Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care rebranded as Helios Care to account for its growing portfolio of services. Illinois-based Hospice of the Kankakee Valley recently rebranded as UpliftedCare.
Also recently, Community Hospice & Palliative Care, headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., reorganized as Alivia Care, a larger entity of which the hospice is a subsidiary.
Anxiety among patients and families surrounding misconceptions about the nature of hospice care leads to delays in end-of-life and goals-of-care conversations, often delaying patients’ entry into hospice, according to Spychalski.
Nearly 28% of Medicare-enrolled patients who elected hospice had a length of stay of seven days or less during 2017, according to the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization. More than 54% of hospice patients had a length of stay of less than 30 days.
“We have done research in our own community, as well as review national data that shows that using the word ‘hospice’ can actually be a barrier to important conversations, and is often a misunderstood term leading families to call us only in the very last few days of the loved ones terminal illness,” Spychalski said. “Research shows and our own experience has proven that the introduction of palliative care or hospice services much earlier in the disease process results in better outcomes for the patient and their loved ones.”