Aspirus Health System Expands Hospice Footprint in Michigan

Wisconsin-based Aspirus Health System has expanded its hospice and palliative care programs to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The services will operate under the nonprofit system’s Aspirus at Home Brand.

Aspirus’ 11,000 employees provide care through four hospitals in Michigan and 13 in Wisconsin, in addition to 75 clinics, home health and hospice agencies, pharmacies nursing homes, a physician network, and a range of other business lines. The hospice expansion marks their entry into two new Michigan counties.

“Aspirus At Home has one of the best hospice programs serving Michigan and Wisconsin,” said Cindy Rider, vice president of post-acute care for Aspirus Health. “Expanding hospice care to this area of the [Upper Peninsula] is part of our commitment to give residents of rural areas access to high quality care and vital services regardless of where they live.”


Among the company’s goals is the co-location of new hospice operations in markets where they already have a home health presence and has plans for further expansion in Michigan, pending state and Medicare approval.

Aspirus provides hospice care through a number of subsidiaries, including Aspirus Comfort Care and Hospice Services, Aspirus Hospice House, Aspirus At Home, and LeRoyer Hospice.

Hospitals and health systems are becoming increasingly interested in home-based care as demographic tailwinds drive up demand. Public anxiety about facility-based services during the COVID-19 pandemic also drove more care into the home in 2020 and into this year. Health system HCA Healthcare (NYSE: HCA) recently purchased an 80% stake in the home health and hospice segment of Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD) for $400 million.


North Dakota-based CHI-St. Alexius Health System in 2019 extended its palliative care program to include outpatient and home-based services. Athens, Ga.-headquartered St. Mary’s Health System has expanded their hospital-based palliative care program outside of their walls and into patients’ homes in three Georgia counties. SSM Health and Allina Health have made similar announcements in recent years.

California-based Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in June launched a home care and hospice venture, branded as Hoag at Home.

Demographic tailwinds run strong in Michigan where 26% of the population is 60 or older, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Michigan had the 10th highest rate of hospice utilization among Medicare decedents during 2018 at 53.8%, according to the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization. The national average that year was 50.3%. Utah led the nation with 60.5%.

“Our goal is to always keep patients comfortable, educate families and caregivers, and provide compassionate care where people are in their health care journey and feel most comfortable wherever they call home,” Rider said.

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