Recently I have heard some whispering around pay per visit for hospice visits. This is mostly coming from organizations that have a skilled home care business where pay for visit is an option. As you might imagine, this is causing quite a rise in eyebrows in the hospice community. What are your thoughts?
The first 24-hours when a patient and family start hospice service is key to the patient experience and also related to the rate of revocations. The best way to grow your census is not to lose any business you already have. Providing the most outstanding service and care within the first 24-hours is a key strategy for growth.
Whenever an organization hits the wall in terms of growth, or worse yet, growth starts to decline, everyone is quick to point to the external environment. Completion has increased, the regulatory environment has shifted, our customer base is fickle, etc. While some of these may be true, I submit to you that it is more of the internal environment that causes an organization to stop growing. Those “invisible velvet gloves”, broken processes, lack of people’s sense of urgency, no team work, etc. are more in control of your “the spigot of growth” than you can imagine. This largely has to do with two important factors. The first, there most likely is not a strong positive culture of growth in the organization. And, second, there most likely isn’t a well-developed and articulated growth/referral development plan to follow.
As some of you may know, I am part owner of a Home Health Care company is Moscow Russia called First Home Care, I also do some consulting work in Eastern Europe in all areas of hospice and palliative care. My company in Moscow works closely with several hospices because in Moscow, hospices typically only care for cancer patients. So for patients with end of life care needs, with cardiac disease and other illnesses that we can care for we try to assist.
I’m embarrassed to even share this story with you, but as a strong hospice advocate and professional for over 17 years, I feel that it is my duty to inform. This story is about a specific hospice that not only makes it difficult for people to obtain care, it is also a glaring example of an unhealthy corporate culture that is unsuitable for for growth.
There is a built in challenge for hospices that are owned by a health system. The largest challenge being that hospital based hospices are departments within a health system and are treated as such. The biggest impact being some of these hospices are under-capitalized and it affects their ability to compete in the market place. During the budgeting process in a hospital, precious capital is being competed for to fund a new MRIs, surgery suites, etc. Most times, the hospice and home care departments are at the bottom of the list.
For-Profit vs. Not-For Profit Hospice: Which One Is Best?
The Diane Rehm show on NPR today had a panel discussion to react to a Washington Post article entitled “Dying and Profit: the Evolution of Hospice”.
The Diane Rehm show on NPR today had a panel discussion to react to a Washington Post article entitled “Dying and Profit: the Evolution of Hospice”. (http://wapo.st/1CZiHGc)
The Wall Street Journal article basically said that For-Profit Hospices offer sub-par care. Both the article and NPR panel, in my humble opinion, were both misleading and didn’t address the true issue which was “what do consumers need to know in selecting the best hospice for them?”
Ukraine Struggles for Palliative Care and Hospice
Efforts to advance Ukraine’s move to give their people a better health system including the development of hospice and palliative care services.