Coalition Begins End-of-Life Outreach to Minorities

A coalition of health care, government, and community stakeholders has banded together to help minorities in New Jersey access hospice and palliative care, as well as advance care planning. The Goals of Care Coalition of New Jersey has begun a new educational program to help the public, and minorities in particular, understand the health care […]

Washington Hospice Expands after Hospital Ends Services

Walla Walla Community Hospice (WWCH) is expanding its service area after a local hospital ended its hospice care program. The Walla Walla, Wash.-based hospice, which currently serves its home county as well as Columbia County in Washington and parts of Umatilla County in Oregon, will now provide care to Pendleton, Ore., and its surrounding communities. […]

New MorseLife Hospice Program Designed for Jewish Patients

West Palm Beach-based MorseLife Health System has launched a new hospice service—Palm Beach Hospice and Palliative Care—designed to address the end-of-life care needs of Jewish patients and their families. Though the new hospice and palliative care service is open to patients of all religions, the program specializes in providing services that take into account Jewish […]

Court to Non-Profit Hospice: Pay Your Taxes

The Illinois Appellate Court has ruled that a Chicago-area hospice must pay property taxes despite its non-profit status, finding that the organization’s property was not exclusively engaged in charity use. This is the first such case involving a hospice, but similar litigation against providers in other health care settings indicate a trend that non-profit hospices […]

MEDPAC: For-Profits Account for 100 Percent of New Hospices

For-profit providers are dominating the hospice market. The number of hospice providers in the United States during 2017 rose 2.4 percent, with for-profit providers representing 100 percent of the growth, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MEDPAC) annual report to Congress. That same year, the number of non-profit hospices declined 3.5 percent. Larger numbers […]

Cornerstone Buys San Antonio-Area Hospice

Cornerstone Healthcare, Inc., a subsidiary of the Ensign Group (ENSG), has purchased the assets of Boerne, Tex.-based All County Home Care and Hospice for an undisclosed sum, furthering the company’s strategy of acquiring well-performing and struggling hospice and home health care providers nationwide. With this acquisition, Cornerstone now operates 25 hospice locations in addition to […]

North Carolina Hospice Providers Merge

Two North Carolina nonprofit hospice organizations have agreed to join forces effective Sept. 30, pending due diligence reviews and final board approvals. The two organizations, Hospice and Palliative Care of Alamance-Caswell (HPCAC) and Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro (HPCG), collectively serve in excess of 3,000 patients annually in Alamance, Caswell, Guilford, and surrounding counties. […]

Hospices Alert to CMS New Immediate Jeopardy Protocols

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has significantly changed how the agency’s surveyors identify and analyze Immediate Jeopardy findings, applicable to hospice providers as well as all other health care services covered by Medicare or Medicaid. An Immediate Jeopardy finding represents a situation in which the health care provider’s noncompliance with one […]

White House Proposes Billions in Medicare & Medicaid Cuts

Today the White House proposed a 2020 federal budget that would slash Medicare spending by nearly $846 billion and Medicaid by $241 billion over 10 years, sparking concern among hospice organizations. “[The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization] is concerned the president’s proposed Medicare cuts could interrupt patient and family access to person-centered, interdisciplinary hospice […]

‘Right to Try’ Act Could Delay Palliative Care

The Right to Try Act, designed to give patients with life-threatening illnesses access to experimental therapies, could delay referrals of pediatric cancer patients to palliative care, according to a viewpoint appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association-Oncology. “When pediatric oncologists perceive that patients and families want to ‘do everything,’ even broaching the idea […]