VITAS CEO: Hospice Leaders Must be Advocates for Industry, Patients

Nick Westfall took the helm of VITAS Healthcare in 2016 after serving for four years as senior vice president of operations.  VITAS is the largest single-source provider of end-of-life care in the United States. A subsidiary of Chemed Corp., (NYSE: CHE), the company experienced financial and service line growth during the second quarter of 2019, […]

Three Oaks Hospice Opens Its Doors, Completes Three Acquisitions

Private equity-backed Three Oaks Hospice, based in Texas, has acquired three hospice agencies in Dallas, Fort Worth and San Antonio. Three Oaks began operating in May. The three acquisitions — Total Hospice & Palliative Care, ABS Palliative and Hospice Care and Fellowship Hospice — increase the hospice’s referral network to more than 200 sources, enabling […]

Modernizing the Medicare Hospice Benefit

The Medicare Hospice Benefit is aging along with the patients it is designed to serve. Nearly 40 years since its inception, it may be time to re-examine aspects of the program in light of the ways that patient populations and the larger health care system have changed.  The hospice benefit was established as a demonstration […]

Florida Hospices Ensure Continuity of Care During Hurricane Season

Hospices in hurricane zones each year face the complex task of ensuring they can continue operations and support patients in their homes in the aftermath of a potentially catastrophic storm. Hospices in Florida recently contended with Category 5 Hurricane Dorian, while the region experienced minimal damage from that storm, providers were standing ready to see […]

Hospice Multiples Likely to Fall Under Medicare Advantage

Emerging payment models such as the forthcoming Medicare Advantage carve-in demonstration may start to bring down record-high hospice multiples in what continues to be a burgeoning mergers and acquisitions market, but falling multiples are unlikely to curtail widespread industry consolidation in the long term, hospice CEOs said at the Home Health Care News Summit conference […]

VITAS VP: Working with Senior Living Pays Off for Hospices

Engaging with senior living operators to provide hospice care in their facilities can provide opportunities to grow patient census and encounter patients earlier in the course of their illness, according to Mark Hayes, vice president of operations in Sumter County, Fla., for VITAS Healthcare, the hospice subsidiary of Chemed Corp. (NYSE: CHE).  VITAS recently opened […]

Court: Difference of Opinion is Not Hospice Fraud

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals partially affirmed a decision in favor of Arkansas-based hospice provider AseraCare in False Claims Act (FCA) case that has widespread implications for the hospice industry. The appellate court agreed with the Northern District of Alabama that a mere difference of physician’s opinions on a terminal patient’s prognosis does not […]

Hospices Gain from Value-Based Advanced Care Plan Initiatives

As more of the U.S. health care system migrates towards value-based care, efforts on the part of payers and other stakeholders to promote advance care planning could lead to increased hospice utilization as well as earlier admission of prospective patients. Advance care planning is designed to identify patients’ wishes, goals, and desires for their care […]

Hospice Sees Uptick in M&A Activity During Q2 2019

The hospice mergers & acquisitions market continues to be robust. Fourteen hospice transactions took place during the second quarter of 2019, up from eight hospice-related acquisitions during the first quarter, according to a report from M&A advisory firm Mertz-Taggart.  The hospice merger and acquisitions market has been thriving in recent years, with several top providers […]

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 […]