Improving Hospice and Palliative Care for Patients, VITAS Healthcare Launches Opioid Dosage Conversion Tool

November 9, 2021

MIAMI, FL — Today, VITAS Healthcare, the nation’s leading provider of end-of-life care, launched the industry’s first comprehensive opioid conversion tool.

Introduced during National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, the newest feature of the award-winning VITAS mobile app is designed for patients with advanced illness. Healthcare professionals caring for patients eligible for hospice and palliative care can use the tool to prescribe opioids, manage pain effectively and respect the unique needs of patients nearing the end of life.

“Pain management for hospice patients can be a complex practice that differs greatly from the treatment of other populations,” said Dr. Joseph Shega, executive vice president and chief medical officer for VITAS. “We consider a variety of non-pharmacological and pharmacological options to help alleviate pain with minimal side effects and give patients the comfort and quality of life they deserve.”

This in-app converter combines personalized health information with the therapeutic needs of hospice patients to identify optimal opioid options, delivery methods and dose titration. More than a drug-to-drug calculator, it integrates input from prescribing clinicians related to a patient’s unique symptoms, underlying medical conditions and health status.

We are committed to sharing best practices and elevating the standard of care for all patients as they approach the end of life.-Joseph Shega, MD, VITAS chief medical officer

The opioid converter is based on clinical evidence, published clinical studies and best practices from over 40 years of VITAS experience with this special patient population. The tool provides real-world evidence to ensure opioids are used safely while mitigating the risks of inconsistent practices and protocols among providers.

“We’ve made our opioid conversion tool available at no cost to all healthcare professionals because we are committed to sharing best practices and elevating the standard of care for all patients as they approach the end of life,” said Dr. Shega. “The tool is intuitive, efficient, secure and updated on an ongoing basis to provide the latest information on guidelines and changes in medication status.”

The opioid converter is the latest feature available in the VITAS Healthcare mobile app, a free platform for healthcare professionals seeking accurate, easy-to-use hospice information to support prognostication. The 2019 MUX-award-winning app provides guidance on hospice eligibility using two interactive assessment tools and accepts 24/7 seamless and secure in-app referrals.

Download the app, available for iOS and Android devices, at

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