Providers, Including Ohio’s Hospice, Feel the Squeeze from Inflation and Flat Reimbursement Growth

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Ohio’s Hospice is among the providers experiencing staffing pressures amid lagging reimbursement rates and rising inflation. 

Inflation, wage hikes and lagging reimbursement are among the main forces pressurizing hospice workforces, according to Ohio’s Hospice CEO Kent Anderson. The hospice recently reduced its staffing volumes, with rising operational costs and reimbursement pressures leading factors, Anderson indicated in a local news report.


“These increased operational costs, coupled with flat or declining reimbursement, have led us to the very difficult decision to reduce positions with the goal of ensuring we continue to deliver the very best care and services to the patients we have the privilege of serving,” Anderson said in the local report.

Employees impacted by the change received outplacement support and a severance package, Anderson told local news.

Currently, Ohio’s Hospice has roughly 1,400 employees. The hospice provider declined to comment to Hospice News’ request for details on affected staffing positions and future retention and recruitment efforts.


Workforce and wage pressures have impacted hospices across the industry. Hospices of all walks have seen staffing volumes dip amid ongoing workforce shortages exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some hospices have reduced their interdisciplinary staff, while others have temporarily halted or closed their programs altogether.

Reimbursement concerns have mounted among hospice providers and stakeholder groups. A main point of contention proliferating in recent years is that updates to hospice payment have fallen short of what’s needed to cover interdisciplinary staffing costs, along with operational and back-office expenses.

The 3.1% base rate included in the 2024 hospice final rule, for instance, has been cited as “insufficient” to support hospice growth and sustainability, including the ability to recruit and retain a clinical workforce.

“Despite these difficult decisions, Ohio’s Hospice continues to invest in areas where we are experiencing growth,” Anderson said.

Ohio’s Hospice is a statewide alliance of nonprofit providers established in 2013. Headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, the group of community-based hospices serve more than 60 counties statewide. The collaborative began with three hospice members and now includes 11 affiliates.

The network leverages its member organizations’ collective size in negotiations with vendors, payers and referral sources, collaborates on back-office functions and shares some expenses and infrastructure.

In addition to hospice, Ohio’s Hospice offers advance care planning services, along with caregiver, grief support and veterans programs. The hospice also provides disease-specific symptom management for patients with cardiac, oncology and pulmonary conditions. It also operates a palliative care arm, Pure Healthcare.

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