VITAS Healthcare Earns National Recognition for High-Quality Hospice Care

May 2, 2023

A graphic listing the six VITAS programs that have earned national recognition from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization: Chicago, Illinois, Citrus County, Florida, Connecticut, Houston, Texas, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and San Gabriel, California.

MIAMI, FL—Six VITAS Healthcare hospice service areas have earned national recognition for their commitment to quality care through the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization's (NHPCO) Quality Connections program. Structured around four fundamental pillars, the program recognizes hospice and palliative care providers that demonstrate a commitment to quality and continuous improvement.

According to a representative at NHPCO, 311 organizations enrolled in the 2022 Quality Connections program, but just 22 providers completed all pillars. Six of them were VITAS.

The VITAS service areas recognized for their efforts to improve patient care and family satisfaction, as well as their commitment to staff education and training, include:

"Of the six VITAS locations that enrolled in 2022, we are proud that all were recognized by NHPCO for their dedication to quality end-of-life care," said Nick Westfall, VITAS President and CEO. "This recognition is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our employees, who strive every day to provide the highest level of compassionate care to our patients and their families.”

Quality Connections is the only national program designed to support providers with a framework for ongoing quality assessment, education and performance improvement initiatives. The fundamental pillars are represented by four rings: education, application, measure and innovation. Milestones are achieved within defined timeframes through activities such as quarterly data reporting and benchmarking, educational courses, case studies and engagement on emerging issues. Completion of all four rings indicates that the hospice provider has demonstrated a commitment to quality care that is up to date on the newest and best practices in advanced illness and end-of-life care.

This recognition is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our employees, who strive every day to provide the highest level of compassionate care to our patients and their families.-Nick Westfall, VITAS President and CEO

“NHPCO is committed to helping hospice and palliative care providers deliver the best care possible to patients and their loved ones. Quality Connections was created to make the ongoing journey of excellence possible," said NHPCO COO and interim CEO Ben Marcantonio. “The Quality Connections program continues to grow and include broader content and learning opportunities like compliance, palliative care, equity and inclusion that serve our patients and communities across the continuum of serious illness and end-of-life care.”

Examples of the activities include on-demand learning videos, attendance at NHPCO conferences, completion of the hospice quality certificate program, participation in the national We Honor Veterans program, distribution of surveys for bereavement services and employee satisfaction and the submission of reporting components of Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) surveys and Hospice Item Set (HIS) data.

Hospice care has been proven to enhance the quality of life for individuals across a multitude of serious illnesses. According to a recent report from NORC at the University of Chicago, greater utilization of hospice during the last six months of life is associated with increased satisfaction, improved pain control and reduced physical and emotional distress for patients and their loved ones.

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