On June 1, LifeTouch Hospice will merge with Arkansas Hospice. Both organizations are nonprofits.
Both hospices are owned and operated by the SHARE Foundation, a nonprofit, faith-based organization. The hospice last year served 430 patients in a five-county region of Arkansas.
“It is an honor to be asked to continue the mission of another long-standing, nonprofit hospice provider in Arkansas,” Judy Wooten, president and CEO of Arkansas Hospice, said. “LifeTouch Hospice has a wonderful reputation for providing high quality, patient-centered care, and we look forward to learning, growing and serving together for many years to come.”
Earlier this year, the SHARE Foundation also closed the John R. Williamson Hospice House, because few patients in their region were receiving care outside of their homes. In its place, the organization made agreements with local hospitals to provide inpatient hospice care in their facilities.
Arkansas Hospice has reported net income ranging between $517,000 in 2018 and more than $1.3 million in 2020, according to its IRS 990s.
The organization also has announced plans to develop new, diversified services, including palliative care, private duty and home-based primary care. But to date, no timeline has been established, the SHARE Foundation indicated in a press release.
LifeTouch cited the difficulty of small nonprofit hospices competing with large providers as well as forces in “the evolving health care market” and anticipated “massive” changes in how Medicare reimburses for hospice care in the coming years.
“As a result of the expected upcoming changes, many small, rural hospices are already consolidating with larger providers to ensure sustainability in the future,” SHARE Foundation President and CEO Dr. Brian Jones said in a statement. “This new affiliation with Arkansas Hospice will position us to maintain the mission and ministry of LifeTouch Hospice.”