Hospice & Social Determinants of Health

06/17/19 at 11:42 AM by Cordt Kassner

Interesting story about hospices striving to address social determinants of health into continuity of end-of-life care - good work! (Summary from Hospice News Today, 6/17/19.)


Hospices Leverage Community Resources to Address Social Determinants
Hospice News
June 17, 2019
A rising number of hospices are building community partnerships to accommodate patientsʼ nonmedical needs, allowing them to continue receiving care in the home. These partnerships support quality patient care and position hospices to capitalize on the growing recognition among payers that addressing social determinants of health can reduce health care costs and improve patient satisfaction. Exploring opportunities to provide nonmedical services can open new revenue streams for hospices … “Thereʼs a whole population of people who are at risk for being in a nursing home. They may not yet need hospice care—they need practical help,” Christy Whitney, president and CEO of Colorado-based hospice provider … HopeWest told Hospice News. Help can involve anything from running errands to assisting with personal hygiene, or from social activities to grief education classes for patientʼs families. HopeWest had these needs in mind when they began launching “The Center for Living Your Best,” a facility offering an environment for older adults seeking “lifelong learning opportunities, friendship, and support for remaining independent for as long as possible,” according to a planning document the hospice shared with Hospice News. HopeWest will offer some of these services directly but will also foster community partnerships, creating space for mutually beneficial cross-marketing. “If you are passionate about quality then the word is going to get out, and if the word gets out you grow volume, because there are a lot of other people out there who are in home health or hospice for different reasons,” said Cameron Muir, M.D., chief innovation officer for Capital Caring. … Falls Church, Va.-based hospice Capital Caring coordinates meal services for patients and is forging a partnership rideshare company Lyft to address patient and family transportation needs, providing rides to doctor appointments, grocery stores, pharmacies and other locations. … Offering nonmedical services to senior clientele in the community, rather than strictly to hospice patients, can help create a relationship with those individuals and their families that can continue when the individual becomes eligible for hospice. Reaching prospective patients earlier in the course of their illness is an imperative for hospice providers seeking to grow. “When you look at trying to reach all the constituencies, you have to see how you can bring [patients and clients] in before they need you, not just as they need you,” explains Whitney. “The biggest opportunity in collaboration is to become an indispensable organization to your community. If you donʼt collaborate, then youʼre kind of in a sea—potentially a big sea—of competition.”

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