Hillcrest Hospice Expands with Iowa De Novo

Nebraska-based Hillcrest Hospice, a subsidiary of Hillcrest Health Services, has moved into Western Iowa with a de novo location council bluffs. The new office will provide care in three counties in that state.

Hillcrest Health Services provides a range of senior care services including independent and assisted living, post-acute rehabilitation, long term care, private duty home care, outpatient therapy and adult day services. The company launched its home health and hospice businesses in 2006.

The company’s new location brings its hospice services into markets where its home health business is already operating.


‘“We’re excited to be part of the Council Bluffs community, and we look forward to serving families in Iowa,” said Mike Rehfeldt, administrator at Hillcrest Hospice. “Our sister agency, Hillcrest Home Care, has been delivering home health services in Pottawattamie and Mills Counties for more than a decade. During that time, we received several requests to provide hospice services as well.”

Demographic tailwinds run strong in Iowa. About 17.5% of the state’s 3.1 million population are 65 or older, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That number is expected to rise to 20.3% by 2050.

Iowa ranked seventh nationwide in hospice utilization among Medicare decedents in 2018, with 56.2% electing the benefit, according to the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization. The national average was slightly more than 50% that year.


St. Croix Hospice, a portfolio company of the private equity firm H.I.G. Capital, also recently opened a de novo in the state. Minnesota-based Moments Hospice has also been expanding in Iowa, among other regions.

The agency is currently seeing a limited number of hospice patients pending its certification survey by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Upon completion of that process the company will expand its services in Iowa. Hillcrest provides all four levels of hospice, including routine home care, continuous home care, general inpatient care and respite care. 

“One of Hillcrest’s key service standards is its commitment to admitting patients within three hours of referral,” said Reggie Ripple, vice president of home and community services. “Our hospice team is dedicated to providing an amazing experience for every patient and their families. These efforts have enabled us to grow into one of Omaha’s largest agencies, and we hope to serve even more families as we expand into Iowa.”

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