As Inpatient Hospice Doors Swing Open, Others Slam Shut Nationwide

Patient preferences are trending towards home-based hospice care, leaving some inpatient facilities between a rock and a hard place. Meanwhile, other hospices diversify and expand their inpatient service capabilities.

MercyOne Shutters Hospice House in Iowa

MercyOne has closed its Iowa-based hospice center due to economic headwinds.

The health system will no longer offer inpatient services at the MercyOne Johnston Hospice Care facility, citing “post-pandemic economic issues” in recent local news.


Among the reasons that some inpatient hospice centers have shuttered are rising costs for paid sick leave and contract workers, as well as labor costs and high prices for personal protective equipment.

Shifting care preferences are another driving force behind the closure, according to MercyOne.

“More patients are choosing to receive in-home hospice care,” the organization told local news.


Hospice facilities nationwide saw their census drop during the pandemic as more patients sought home-based care during the outbreak. This was an existing trend that has picked up steam as centers also face capacity constraints. High staff turnover has left some inpatient centers with insufficient clinician volumes to care for staff.

MercyOne will continue to provide in-home hospice care through its Des Moines, Iowa location. The health system will also continue inpatient services at other centers, as well as routine home care and respite care.

This is not MercyOne’s first hospice facility to experience pandemic-related turbulence.

Inflation, workforce shortages and COVID-related pressures were among the reasons that MercyOne North Iowa Hospice temporarily closed its inpatient center. The facility at MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center closed on April 17.

Hospice Ministries’ Inpatient Center Shuts Down

Hospice Ministries, Inc. has closed the only inpatient facility in the Jackson, Mississippi metropolitan area.

The center had roughly 30 to 40 patient beds for patients who require facility-based care and cannot remain in the home. In addition to inpatient care, Hospice Ministries also offered respite services for family caregivers.

“Due to many changes in health care, the board of directors of Hospice Ministries, Inc. has made the difficult decision to close its inpatient facility in Ridgeland,” the organization said in a statement. “Closing the inpatient facility will allow Hospice Ministries to put more focus on providing end of life care to patients in their ‘homes,’ whether it be their personal residence, a nursing home, or an assisted living facility.”

Established in 1988, Hospice Ministries has since served more than 20,000 patients across central Mississippi. The hospice provides home- and facility-based end-of-life care. Hospice Ministries has another inpatient location in Brookhaven, Mississippi, and serves 20 counties in the state’s central region.

Hospice of Jefferson County Renovates Inpatient Facility

New York-based Hospice of Jefferson County, Inc. will soon open the doors of its revamped inpatient center.

The hospice facility will feature eight private rooms in a home-like setting and also offers short-term respite care for caregivers.

The renovated inpatient space cost an estimated $2.4 million to complete. Hospice of Jefferson County indicated that the pandemic added financial strain to the project.

“The cost of building materials continues to escalate due to tariffs and COVID-19 production declines. Since our original estimates, the cost of materials has increased by approximately 8%. Fundraising during the COVID-19 pandemic has been very challenging and combined with escalating costs,” the organization said in a statement.

Each patient room has overnight accommodations for family members and features a private patio and bathroom. The center’s five-acre grounds include a walking trail, pond and meditation garden.

Holland Home Pours $2 Million into Inpatient Expansion

Michigan-based Holland Home’s recently opened a new grief support center at its inpatient facility, investing $2 million in the expansion.

Holland Home’s Faith Hospice operates the inpatient centers which also provides routine home care, palliative care and bereavement services. Located in Trillium Woods, Mich., the facility has 20 private patient rooms and offers 24/7 care.

The Van Andel Hope & Healing Pavilion includes a grief support center and a hospice training and education lab for staff and volunteers. It also serves as a consolidated office space for interdisciplinary staff. The grief center offers Individual and family counseling services

“The Van Andel Hope and Healing Pavilion will continue to honor their parents and carry on the tradition to provide shelter to the hearts of those grieving,” Holland Home President and CEO Troy Vugteveen said in a statement.

The center expansion came with support from Steve and Amy Van Andel. The addition has been a few years in the making. The organization’s previous CEO Mina Breuker announced plans to begin expanding its grief counseling services at the inpatient center in its 2019 annual report.

“Walking alongside loved ones after they’ve experienced loss is such an important part of the hospice experience,” Amy Van Andel said. “We hope that having a facility dedicated to those who are grieving that offers resources to guide them on their journey will help families begin to heal and feel hope for the future.”

Heritage Health Care Moves Into New Inpatient Hospice

Heritage Health Care and Legacy Hospice have moved an Ohio-based inpatient center to a new location.

The new inpatient center in Lima, Ohio, is roughly six miles from the previous location in the same community.

The move allows for expanded access to inpatient hospice as Heritage Health Care continues to stretch services across the health continuum, according to Gen Stelzer, director of operations.

“We strive to have this post-acute continuum of care,” Stelzer told local news. “We’ve had the skilled nursing homes and assisted living for quite a long time, and then more recently in the last five to seven years, we’ve really boosted our home care division. Within the last year, we started the hospice division to kind of close that circle and have the whole continuum of care.”

Heritage Health Care is affiliated with HCF Management, Inc., a company that operates skilled nursing, rehabilitation and assisted living facilities in Ohio and Pennsylvania. The health care system provides home health and hospice across 70 counties in both states.

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