California-based Kaiser Permanente, one of the nation’s largest integrated health systems, has opened a hospice de novo on the island of Oahu in Hawaii.
The new location is the most recent of a series of investments that Kaiser has made in the home setting, including hospice and palliative care.
Two years ago Kaiser united its home-based services in Southern California and Hawaii under a single division — Care at Home — led by Vice President Angel Vargas. Care at Home offers home health care, palliative care and hospice in addition to high-acuity services like hospital-at-home.
“We continue to focus on growth and becoming a reliable alternative to the hospital setting in any way regulatorily possible,” Vargas previously told Hospice News. “Our growth path is still there. We’ve had near double-digit growth over the last two years in volume.”
California-headquartered Kaiser Permanente Health System provides care to 12.6 million people across eight states and the District of Columbia. The nonprofit’s operating revenue reached $93.1 billion in 2021.
Based on 2020 U.S. Census Bureau data, 1 in 5 of Hawaii’s residents are 65 or older, a 45% increase from 2010.
Hawaii ranked 22nd in 2020 for hospice utilization among the states at 48%, according to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. Utah had the highest rate that year at 60.7%.
“The Kaiser Permanente Care at Home hospice program will provide a much-needed option for our members who not only want high-quality care for their serious illness at home, but who also expect to receive this care from their trusted medical home of Kaiser Permanente,” Dr. Johnnie Yates, medical director for hospice services at Kaiser Permanente in Hawaii, said in a statement.