Hospice of Cincinnati, Adventist Health Expand Hospice; Labor Pressures Shutter Midwest-Based Programs

Hospice of Cincinnati Unveils New Hospital-Based Inpatient Unit

Hospice of Cincinnati has opened a new inpatient unit at The Christ Hospital.

The hospital is located in Mt. Auburn, Ohio, with the new inpatient hospice unit featuring 10 patient beds, a chapel and a family gathering space.

The inpatient center will allow for smoother transitions to hospice care among eligible hospitalized and emergency patients, as well as home- and community-based referrals, according to Gayle Mattson, president and CEO of Hospice of Cincinnati/HOC Navigators.


“This is a tremendous opportunity to offer experienced, hospital-based hospice care to patients who are too fragile or unstable to be transferred to another location,” Mattson said in a press release. “The unit at The Christ Hospital is an extension of our mission to provide the best possible and most meaningful end-of-life care to our community.”

The hospital-based hospice unit marks Hospice of Cincinnati’s fifth inpatient location. The hospice provider launched the center in partnership with The Christ Hospital Health Network. The health system operates two hospitals, five ambulatory outpatient centers and dozens of medical offices.

Staff of Hospice of Cincinnati/HOC Navigators will provide hospice care at the center. Established in 1977, Hospice of Cincinnati provides hospice, palliative care, grief support and advanced care planning educational services.


“We are honored to be working in partnership with the team at Hospice of Cincinnati to offer these very important and meaningful services on-site at our main hospital campus to ease the burden on families and patients during a very sensitive and stressful time,” Debbie Hayes, president and CEO of The Christ Hospital Health Network said. “Improving the health of our community is our mission in all stages of a patient’s journey through life. A partnership with Hospice of Cincinnati enhances our capabilities to bring that mission full circle.”

Adventist Health Relaunches Hospice Services in Some California Markets

Adventist Health has resumed hospice and home-based services across two counties in its home state.

The California-based nonprofit health system temporarily halted these services at a location serving Paradise and Butte counties after the region experienced a destructive wildfire in 2018. Dubbed the Camp Fire, its damage spread across nearly 154,400 acres and destroyed nearly 95% of structures in the cities of Paradise and Concow.

The health system has been rebuilding structurally and operationally to continue providing care and resources to these distressed communities amid critical and rising demand, according to Jessica Smith, community liaison at Adventist Health.

“It takes a while to regain staff and to rebuild the quality of care for this area that we have had,” Smith told local news. “Our level of care is a priority to us. To make sure that we have physical therapy, an RN, volunteers and home health aides readily available for the Paradise and Butte County areas was key to reestablishing services here.”

Adventist Health Feather River facility began accepting referrals for new home care and hospice patients in January. Services at the location include home health, hospice and palliative care, as well as behavioral health, oncology, primary care, nephrology, laboratory services and medical imaging.

The health system’s philanthropic arm, Adventist Health Feather River Health Foundation, helped fuel $2.4 million into recent renovations at the clinic in an effort to increase clinical capacity and patient access to more services in its continuum, including women’s health.

Adventist Health’s service region spans more than 90 communities along the western coast of California, Hawaii and Oregon. The nonprofit health system provides hospice, palliative, primary and pediatric care, along with behavioral health, emergency and intensive care services, among others.

Chippewa County Health Department to Shutter Hospice Services

Michigan-based Chippewa County Health Department recently announced that it will be sunsetting its home health and hospice services at the end of 2024.

The county hospice agency cited rising staffing costs and reimbursement pressures as leading reasons.

The ability to afford wages for nurses, social workers and home health and hospice aides has been challenged by lagging reimbursement rates, according to Karen Senkus, health officer at Chippewa County Health Department. Clinical capacity has been a challenging feat to balance, Senkus indicated.

“There have been changes in eligibility of which patients you can take on in these programs, how a facility gets reimbursed, depending on the number and type of visits, things have just changed greatly,” Senkus told local news. “We do still have some home health patients on our caseload. We’re taking patients as we are able to provide the service.”

The Chippewa County Health Department has provided facility- and community-based home health and hospice services through EUP Home Health & Hospice. Established more than 70 years ago, the home health and hospice provider offers care across 15 cities in the Michigan-based county.

Other health care providers in the area will be stepping in to ensure continued access to home health and hospice among the community, according to Senkus. These include Residential Healthcare Group, among others.

Flambeau Home Health and Hospice Care Closes Inpatient Center

Flambeau Home Health and Hospice Care has recently closed its inpatient facility.

The Wisconsin-based nonprofit home health and hospice provider is part of the Marshfield Clinic Health System. Flambeau Home Health and Hospice Care is operated by the Marshfield Medical Center in Park Falls, Wisconsin.

Multifaceted reasons drove the closure, including rural health care delivery challenges, according to Jeffrey Starck, senior public relations specialist at Marshfield Medical Center. Rural-based providers are facing greater impacts of staffing shortages and soaring labor and operational costs in today’s current reimbursement, he stated.

“The decisions we’ve made and the dramatic situation in the Chippewa Valley where two hospitals and 19 clinics will soon close demonstrate the tenuous status of health care in all of rural Wisconsin,” Starck told local news.

The decision to halt home health and hospice services were also fueled by the lingering impacts of the pandemic’s “perform storm” of challenges in health care, he added.

Marshfield Medical Center will continue to provide a range of other health care services in the community, according to Stark. The health system has begun outreach to other home health and hospice providers to ensure continued access for patients and families.

“We’re proud members of the community, and while some of the services we offer change, we continue to provide primary, specialty and hospital care throughout the region,” Stark said.

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