In 2000, we began serving patients at the Hospice House. We wanted to give a higher level of hospice care for West Texans, something special and wonderful and very much needed in our community. There wasn’t anything like it within 250 miles. The Hospice House was a dream come true for us, and would eventually become a blessing for almost 6,000 West Texans and their families – that place of grace from which God would call people home.
Financially, we always knew the Hospice House would be a loser, but medically and spiritually, we knew it would be a winner for patients and families in our community. We were able to keep the doors open and meet the need, even though Home Hospice lost almost $1,000,000 operating the Hospice House over the years. It was worth it to us, and we knew it benefitted those we were called to serve.
What changed? What happened? Well, in the beginning, and for most years afterwards, hospice patients could choose to come to the Hospice House for their last few days. Then Medicare began to restrict access to inpatient hospice care, requiring our patients to have medical symptom management which couldn’t be provided at home. In short, instead of being able to come to the Hospice House as a choice, Medicare required us to document the need for a specific, medical intervention.
This is not what some call “Obamacare” causing us to close the Hospice House. These are Medicare rules being implemented under the Obama administration that have restricted access to care and caused many inpatient facilities to close around the country.
We are grieved about having to close the Hospice House. We needed to act before the growing financial burden began to affect the quality of care we provide our patients, families, and loved ones at home. Home Hospice will continue to provide the gold-standard hospice care you have come to trust for 20 years.
Thank you for sharing with us, and others, your precious memories and many beautiful stories! May they be a blessing for all who have been touched by the Hospice House.
Thank you all in advance for helping to clear up the confusion regarding the closing of the Hospice House…. So appreciate it!!!!
It was reported in the Odessa American 3/21/14 “In recent years, Home Hospice ran an annual deficit of about $200,000, company representatives said. But that deficit ballooned to about $600,000 last year.”
These figures are completely wrong… The Hospice House lost $200,000 last year… and was on a path towards $600,000 for this year. Home Hospice has never operated at a deficit – in fact we have done more than $5 million in charity care throughout the last 20 years.
But this isn’t about the money, it’s about reassuring the 30,000 people in our community who have emotional ties to the Hospice House, and supporting them through this new change. (I don’t want people who are facing serious illness to feel like we are drowning, and they will have nowhere to turn.)