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Hospice as a Business

As a former hospice social worker and senior manager, I was intrigued by an article in USA Today about marketing hospice care as a good financial decision.  You can read the article here:  Hospice Marketed as Cost Cutter.

Essentially, one expert suggests that hospices can market themselves to hospitals, as a cost savings method, because hospitals would not have to pay Medicare penalties when they discharge a patient and then have to re-admit them within 30 days.  Hospice cares for most patients in their homes and because their care is focused on comfort rather than cure, they are able to keep hospital admissions to a minimum.

For years, hospices and other healthcare organizations have struggled with the balance between business and care.  But the bottom line is that healthcare is both.  If you don’t provide quality care, you go out of business. If you don’t run your organization like a business, you go out of business – and can no longer provide quality care.

So, there is absolutely nothing wrong with looking at the financial benefits of hospice especially since it’s been proven to be a cost effective method of care.  However, if business comes first, care will suffer.  It’s a fine balance between managing the business without compromising the care.

Kinda like Do it Well. Make it Fun.  OK, maybe that’s a stretch.

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