VITAS Advantage: Supporting Hospitals With Patients Requiring High-Acuity Care
Patients who require high-acuity care often have:
- Higher risk of readmission
- Higher risk of in-hospital morbidity and mortality
- Higher rates of rehospitalization, critical care and ED use
How VITAS Helps You
VITAS is equipped to care for patients with high-acuity needs for whom other hospices lack the required resources or expertise.
We tailor our care plans to patients’ wishes and goals, producing more favorable outcomes for patients, families and caregivers, and more impressive metrics and satisfaction scores for your hospital.
Case Study: Patient with Advanced Lung Cancer
Enhanced Patient Experience
Hospice patients and their families routinely report greater quality of care near the end of life than non-hospice patients with advanced illness. VITAS offers reduced symptom distress and high patient and family satisfaction, resulting in better hospital performance outcomes. 1
Quicker Transitions to a Preferred Care Setting
VITAS handles care transitions in accordance with CMS guidelines, limiting the liability and resource strain on your hospital.
When you trust VITAS to care for your patients, here’s what you can expect:
- An admissions evaluation at the hospital within a matter of hours from referral
- If determined to be hospice eligible, coordination of admission, an individualized care plan, home medical equipment delivery and team visits
- Transition to the appropriate care setting, whether in a private residence, nursing facility, assisted living facility, skilled nursing facility or inpatient hospice unit.
Reduced Length of Stay, Mortality and Readmissions
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. 2
Patients who require extended stays, multiple rehospitalizations, readmissions to the ER, or who die in the hospital, reflect poorly on hospital performance metrics. VITAS can provide all four levels of hospice care to meet a patient’s varying needs throughout their disease trajectory, reducing or eliminating the need for hospital or ER visits.
Reduced Medicare Spending per Beneficiary
As the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) pushes the healthcare industry toward a value-based payment system, hospitals and healthcare systems have more reasons to perform well on various quality metrics and surveys.
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 non-hospice 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. 3
Referring your patient to VITAS can improve your hospital’s per-beneficiary cost metrics while reducing the financial burden on patients and families.
1. Wright, A.A., et al. (2010). Place of death: correlations with quality of life of patients with cancer and predictors of bereaved caregivers’ mental health. J Clin Oncol. 28(29):4457–4464.
2. Carlson MDA, Herrin J, Du Q, Epstein AJ, Barry CL, Morrison RS, et al. (2010). Impact of hospice disenrollment on health care use and Medicare expenditures for patients with cancer. J Clin Oncol. 28(28):4371.
3. Kelley, A. S., Deb, P., Du, Q., Aldridge Carlson, M. D., & Morrison, R. S. (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