After weighing the decision for several months, Nashville-based nonprofit Alive Hospice will not be sold.
Workforce shortages, rising care delivery costs, reimbursements shifts and widespread consolidation were the main reasons that a potential sale was on the table, according to Alive Hospice’s board of directors. The organization will remain a nonprofit hospice, they indicated.
“The Alive board of directors has determined that Alive will remain a not-for-profit, independent organization providing hospice, palliative care and mission-based support services to people across Middle Tennessee,” they told Hospice News in an email. “This decision follows several months of working with third-party advisors to explore the industry and local dynamics that will impact Alive’s operations in the years ahead, from reimbursement changes to labor shortages and rising costs to privatization and consolidation across health care.”
A spate of news reports recently indicated that the hospice may be up for sale to a publicly traded for-profit entity, which sparked vocal public opposition. Alive Hospice previously indicated that reports of a forthcoming sale to such an entity were purely speculative.
Nearly 4,000 community members signed an ongoing petition for Alive Hospice to remain a nonprofit organization. The petition cited concerns that a change in ownership would have adversely affected quality and access to care among underserved communities.
“The board recognizes the recent outpouring of care Alive has received,” Alive Hospice board members said. “We have also been dismayed by the circulation of false reports and incomplete information that have only hurt Alive, its staff and the people they serve.”
Founded in 1975, Alive Hospice provides care to nearly 5,000 patients annually across 12 counties in central Tennessee. The nonprofit’s services include hospice and palliative care, as well as grief support. More than 90% of its patients receive care in the home, though the hospice also provides care in facilities and hospitals in the area.
Alive Hospice, like many other providers, is weathering through labor shortages, rising costs and lingering pandemic headwinds.
Workforce strains have been a common thread that have caused some hospices to sell, temporarily shutter their or completely halt their programs in recent years. Inflation and rising fuel and labor costs have also contributed to hospices’ financial hardships.
Alive Hospice will continue to navigate these challenges without giving up its nonprofit status, according to the organization’s board of directors.
“We look forward to moving past this difficult chapter and engaging with members of the community to better understand what they value in Alive and seek their ongoing support for its growth,” they said. “Securing the future of Alive for the long term will require a significant investment of time, expertise and resources of our community, and we are planning to solicit feedback from the community to engage Middle Tennesseans in this effort.”