Ohio-based Queen City Hospice, an Addus Homecare (NASDAQ: ADUS) company, recently opened a new location in its home state.
The new location in Fayetteville, Ohio, adds a central office in a rural region of the hospice’s service area that will reduce staff travel time. Queen City Hospice provides end-of-life care in six counties across the Cincinnati area in the southwest part of the state.
Adding an office in Brown County improves access to hospice across the area’s smaller, underserved communities, Kacy Ballard, executive director at Queen City Hospice, told local news.
“We want the end of the life journey for people to be the best it can be and as comfortable as it can be,” Ballard said. “If we can’t change the outcome, we can definitely change the journey. If we can [give] the best quality of life to the patients and support the families during their grieving process … that means more than anything.”
The new office will be home base for Queen City staff who provide care in the Brown County region and surrounding areas.
The county had an overall population of roughly 44,000 in 2021, with seniors 65 and older representing 18.8%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Farmers make up much of this region’s residents, which is “overwhelmingly rural, with just one-tenth of 1% of the county qualifying as urban areas,” reported the Ohio History Connection.
Queen City Hospice has been on a growth trajectory since Addus Homecare purchased the provider for $192 million in 2020. Rising demand in the state made the hospice and Ohio an attractive investment, according to Addus President and CEO Dirk Allison.
“When Queen City decided they wanted to go through the process of selling, we were contacted by their investment banker. I think they knew of our desire to get further into hospice in certain markets, and it just made a lot of sense. All of a sudden became a very strategic acquisition for us,” Allison previously told Hospice News at the time of the purchase.
Addus has a personal care presence in Ohio, and co-locating its clinical operations with those locations is a key component of its home health and hospice growth strategy, Allison said.
Demographics are driving up a need for serious illness and end-of-life care in Ohio. State government reports project that by 2050 seniors 65 and older will represent nearly a quarter (24.1%) of the Buckeye State’s overall population. This is a rise from 17.8% currently, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Among the states, Ohio is in the top half when it comes to hospice utilization, in part due to rural pockets in the state that lack a sufficient number of providers. In 2021, 80,150 Medicare beneficiaries in Ohio utilized the hospice benefit, according to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). California saw the most hospice utilization that year, with 156,000 beneficiaries electing these services.