$32 Billion Price Tag for Avoidable Emergency Room Visits

Avoidable emergency department (ED) visits add $32 billion to the nation’s health care costs annually, according to a new report from insurer United Healthcare, and hospice and palliative care providers are well positioned to help reduce that toll. Nearly 66% of hospital ED visits by privately insured patients in the United States are avoidable, meaning […]

VITAS Aligning Staff Retention Efforts with Hospice Mission

Amid industry-wide staff shortages that are expected to worsen in coming years, VITAS Healthcare is leveraging current and prospective employees’ commitments to the hospice mission in efforts to build and retain its workforce, Nicholas Westfall, president and CEO of VITAS Healthcare, said in a second-quarter earnings conference call for parent company Chemed (NYSE: CHE). Hospices […]

Hospice Referral Partners Seek Stronger Interoperability

Nearly 60% of clinicians and organizations that refer patients to hospice would put increased electronic health record (EHR) interoperability on their wish list —particularly the hospice’s ability to receive referrals electronically, according to a new report from Atlanta-based health care technology company Brightree.  About 675 home health and hospices providers as well as 440 referral […]

Hospices Avoid Regulatory Deficiencies with Effective Care Planning

Regulators have been zeroing in on hospice providers in recent years as utilization and expenditures continue to rise. Deficiencies in care planning is one area that is attracting increasing attention. A recent report from the U.S.Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG) indicated that more than 87% of the 4,563 […]

Transitions LifeCare Advances Symptom Simulation Training in Hospice

Hospices nationwide are exploring training programs using simulations of dementia systems; Raleigh, N.C.-based hospice provider Transitions LifeCare is taking their program to the next level to simulate the multiple co-morbidities that their patients often experience.  Dementia simulators often involve goggles that demonstrate the effects of cataracts and macular degeneration, headsets buzzing with background noise and […]

Highpoint Health, Ivy Tech Collaborate on Hospice Nursing Course

Lawrenceburg, Ind.-based Highpoint Health system’s Home Health and Hospice Department has developed a for-credit course on hospice care for nursing students, in collaboration with Ivy Tech Community College, as part of the college’s Nursing Complex Medical Surgical curriculum. Most clinicians do not receive training in hospice or palliative care during their degree programs, in fact […]

Collaboration, Community Outreach Promote Hospice Growth

Collaboration with referral partners and community outreach have proven essential to hospice marketing efforts. As demand for hospice care grows, hospice providers in an increasingly competitive marketplace are working to bring a larger share of those patients under their wings. In addition to traditional methods such as territory management and improving call volume, many are […]

Hospice Physician B.J. Miller: ‘Life is Not a Fight Against Death’

Hospice and palliative care physician Bruce (B.J.) Miller has made it his mission to help people “live well in the face of death.” A hospice and palliative care physician at the University of California Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and former executive director of the Zen Hospice Project, Miller speaks nationally about end-of-life care, […]

C-TAC Launches Initiative to Improve Advanced Illness Care

The Washington-based Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC) is leading a new initiative to measure the quality of advanced illness care state-by-state and develop strategies for improvement. The first phase of the project will soon begin in Arizona in a project financed by the David and Lura Lovell Foundation.  The Arizona program will use data […]

Covenant Care Opens New Inpatient Hospice Unit

Pensacola, Fla.-based hospice and home health provider Covenant Care, a nonprofit, has opened a new inpatient Center for Hospice Care at West Florida Hospital, also in Pensacola. The hospital contracts Covenant to provide hospice care to their patients suffering from terminal illness. The hospice moved its operations to the new 7,1000-square-foot space from a previous […]