The Benefits of Hospice in Nursing Homes and Facilities
VITAS brings unparalleled clinical expertise, extensive knowledge of Medicare and Medicaid nursing facility regulations, and the ability to integrate the provision of hospice care into the nursing facility environment.
As an experienced partner with episode-based providers, VITAS offers a full range of services to positively impact your nursing facility's (NF) performance and quality metrics. From individualized care plans and regular team visits by our hospice experts to educational programs and ongoing grief and bereavement support for your residents and staff, VITAS supports your clinical staff to facilitate positive outcomes.
RELATED: Medicaid Managed Care and Hospice
How VITAS Can Help Nursing Facilities
- We support the concept of “aging in place” by bringing hospice care to your residents and avoiding unnecessary/disruptive care transitions.
- We understand death and dying, including adjusting medications as a resident declines and providing appropriate death attendance, an expedited death certificate and coordination with the funeral home.
- We offer free CE training for your staff about the role of hospice and we educate our staff about working in nursing facilities.
- We provide Minimum Data Set coordination to meet federal requirements and hospice patient needs.
- Our knowledgeable representatives bring pre- and on-site survey and certification assistance to assure positive outcomes.
How We Help Your Residents
- We meet the physical and psychosocial end-of-life needs of the resident who qualifies for hospice and their family.
- We staff 24-hour continuous care at the bedside when medically necessary to avoid 911 calls and to keep a resident out of the emergency department and hospital.
- We provide medications, supplies and DME related to the resident’s hospice diagnosis.
- We staff a 24/7 Telecare line to ensure that a hospice clinician answers every call, whether to advise your staff or dispatch a team member to your facility day or night.
Frequently Asked Questions
Our NF nurses and aides take care of our residents. How would VITAS offer anything different?
VITAS augments the care your NF staff provides to residents with advanced illness.
How can VITAS help curb ED utilization and high-risk rehospitalizations?
By transitioning your NF's high- and rising-risk residents to VITAS, we can provide expert, high-acuity care that minimizes the risks of return visits to the hospital or emergency department.
We bring hospice care to the patient. Since the resident elects to receive palliative care and a physician has certified the resident has a prognosis of six months or less, the need for acute care is diminished.
What services would VITAS be able to offer my resident to keep them here in the NF?
By partnering with VITAS, you are enhancing the services you offer to your residents at the end of life, and elevating the skills and knowledge of your staff in caring for residents with advanced illness.
Our staff is always looking for professional education. Can VITAS help?
VITAS provides nearly 70 continuing education presentations at no cost.
VITAS staff understands the needs of residents and their families who are coping with end-of-life concerns. Ask a VITAS staff member about educational opportunities.
When we see a resident declining, we want to discuss options with their family. How do we begin?
As your partner in care, VITAS can provide conversation starters that families can share.
Numerous printed materials, online resources and how-to documents can help professionals handle the “it’s-time-for-hospice” conversation. Start by downloading the family discussion guide at HospiceCanHelp.com.
Sickness and death are hard on our staff. We get to know and love our residents. How can hospice help?
We offer grief/bereavement support, memorials and education to help residents and staff mourn and cope with the loss.
Hospice recognizes the strain a death has on the community in which a resident has lived, in the same way that hospice recognizes the impact of a loved one’s death on family members. We continue caring for a resident’s loved ones by providing grief and bereavement support for up to 13 months after a death.
Likewise, memorial services and lessons in “taking care of me” help staff members and residents mourn and recover from the death of someone they cared for and cared about.
How does VITAS’ clinical expertise keep residents in my facility?
One of the goals of hospice care is to keep the resident in place, and our coordinated services do that.
VITAS offers unsurpassed modalities of care across all four levels of hospice care: routine home care, Intensive Comfort Care® (continuous care), inpatient care and respite care.
How can VITAS help us maintain our competitive advantage?
VITAS is proud to offer a wide array of specialized care programs and benefits.
- Veterans programs
- Alzheimer’s/dementia programs
- COPD program
- Multilingual staff
- Jewish accreditation
- Paw Pals® pet visits
- Music therapy
- Massage therapy
- “Living memorials” to honor a resident’s life
- Anticipatory grief support during the illness
- Bereavement support groups for families
- Memory Bears
Check with your VITAS representative to see what programs are available in your area.
What is VITAS' approach to pain management?
At VITAS, managing residents’ pain is the utmost objective.
As a hospice and palliative care pioneer, our organization has developed effective pain management protocols that are customized for the individual resident—which is critical in NFs. In addition to addressing physical and medical issues, our interdisciplinary approach addresses spiritual and emotional needs as well.