After a substantial renovation, Charles M. and Cara Lou Chapman Hospice Home in Caspar, Wyo., is reopening to patients and families. The inpatient facility is operated by Central Wyoming Hospice & Transitions.
The reopened facility will provide additional rooms and interdisciplinary care for hospice patients whose symptoms cannot be managed in the home. The renovation is part of a “Caring Promise” initiative at Central Wyoming Hospice and Transitions.
“A huge part of ‘Our Caring Promise’ was the recognition this past year that we have been limited in the ability to say ‘yes’ to our community,” said Executive Director Kilty Brown. “Our vision is that every neighbor has the choice of a bed in one of our hospice homes when they need it.”
Demand for the three higher-acuity levels of hospice care has been rising in recent years, including general inpatient care, continuous home care and respite care. Boosting the financial sustainability of such programs are the rebased payment rates for the general inpatient care, inpatient respite care and continuous home care levels, implemented by the U.S. Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services for fiscal year 2020.
CMS for 2020 cut routine home care payments by 2.6% and raised the rates for the other three levels of care by a corresponding 2.6%. Prior to this rebasing, payment rates for those three levels of care amounted to less than the cost of providing them. The agency has kept 2021rates at those same levels.
Hospice utilization runs low in Wyoming in comparison to other states. About 33% of Medicare decedents in Wyoming elected hospice in 2018, according to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. The national average that year was slightly higher than 50%. Utah led the nation in utilization at 60.4%.
Many of the renovations were undertaken by the contracting firm Tandem-Design Build. The father of one of Tandem’s owners, Laura Griffith, had received end-of-life care in the facility years before this update of the facility.
“I am so proud to be involved in updating this for the guests and their families to experience,” Griffith said. “My goal is that it is tranquil, inviting and functions well into the future. We have carefully selected colors, furnishings, lighting, and art that conveys a sense of tranquility and is inviting, timeless and functional.”