VITAS Advantage: Supporting Hospitals With Patients Requiring Complex Modalities

VITAS is equipped to take on patients who require care that other hospice programs can't provide.
Is Your Patient Hospice-Eligible?

Patients who require complex modalities to manage their illness can strain resources and negatively impact your hospitals’ performance rankings because these patients often have:

  • Higher risk of readmission
  • Higher risk of in-hospital morbidity and mortality
  • Higher rates of rehospitalization, critical care and ED use

Here’s How VITAS Helps

VITAS is equipped to take on patients who require complex modalities—patients for whom other hospice programs may lack resources or expertise to provide the necessary care. We understand that patients and families report higher quality of care when symptoms are successfully managed at home; our complex modalities and quick care transitions support this goal.

Led by our full-time medical directors, our physicians collaborate with your hospital staff to tailor our care plans to patients’ wishes and goals at the end of life, producing more favorable outcomes for patients, families and caregivers, and more impressive metrics and satisfaction scores for your hospital.

Reduced Length of Stay, Mortality and Readmissions

Patients who require extended stays, multiple rehospitalizations or readmissions to the ER, or who die or become sicker in the hospital, reflect poorly on hospital performance metrics. VITAS offers four levels of hospice care to meet patients’ varying needs throughout their disease trajectory, reducing or eliminating the need for hospital or ER visits.

So long as a patient remains hospice-eligible and rejects curative treatment, hospice inpatient stays to manage acute symptoms are not counted as rehospitalizations. Hospice care helps patients achieve an ideal death in a preferred setting, reducing lengths of stay and in-hospital mortality rates. Hospice also frees ICU beds, as patients who would otherwise receive critical treatment in the ICU can receive comfort-focused care at home or in a hospice IPU.1

Aggressive Symptom Management and Open Formulary

Bolstered by our open formulary and proprietary home medical equipment division, VITAS has the medications, tools and expertise to support any patient. No matter how complex or challenging your patient’s symptoms, VITAS offers hospice and palliative care solutions and protocols that many other hospice providers do not, including:

  • Intravenous therapies for pain management, hydration, antibiotics and more
  • Paracentesis and thoracentesis
  • Chest tube/PleurX
  • High-flow oxygen therapy
  • Palliative blood transfusions
  • BiPAP, CPAP and Trilogy non-invasive ventilation
  • PEG-tube care and tube feedings

If symptoms worsen while your patient is under hospice care, VITAS adjusts the level of care to provide full-time clinical support, additional palliative measures and/or a temporary stay in a VITAS inpatient hospice unit until symptoms are stabilized and pain is managed.

Reduced Medicare Spending per Beneficiary

Medicare spending per beneficiary is used to evaluate a hospital’s ability to deliver cost-efficient care. Studies indicate that patients with advanced illness who elect hospice care cost Medicare less than patients in nonhospice settings prior to death. This holds true across variable lengths of stay, with notable savings evident even in hospice patients who enrolled only 1–7 days prior to death.2

Referring your patient to VITAS can improve your hospital’s per-beneficiary cost metrics while reducing the financial burden on patients and families. 

Sources

1. Carlson M., Herrin J., Du Q., Epstein A., Barry C., Morrison R., et al. (2010). Impact of hospice disenrollment on health care use and Medicare expenditures for patients with cancer. J Clin Oncol. 28(28):4371.

2. Kelley, A., Deb, P., Du Q., Aldridge C., Morrison, R. (2013). Hospice enrollment saves money for Medicare and improves care quality across a number of different lengths-of-stay. Health affairs (Project Hope),32(3), 552–561. doi:10.1377/hlthaff.2012.0851