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Monday, 23 November 2015 11:55

By remaining nimble, Hospice of Michigan innovates service model

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Marcie Hillary, Executive Director of Hospice of Michigan. Marcie Hillary, Executive Director of Hospice of Michigan. PHOTO: Katy Batdorff

ADA — Formed nearly 40 years ago, Hospice of Michigan provides end-of-life care to more than 1,700 people each day.

The nonprofit provides only end-of-life palliative and hospice care, which allows the organization to “be big enough to have the resources to try new things, but be small enough to move quickly when we need to,” said Executive Director Marcie Hillary.

To drive care innovation, the organization developed the Hospice of Michigan Institute, its own education center where professionals in the field can share ideas and best practices for providing and improving care for patients.

“Our mission is to innovate end-of-life care for Michigan and (be a) role model for America, and we take that pretty seriously,” said Hillary, who joined Hospice of Michigan 18 years ago.

Back then, there were only a handful of hospice care providers operating in Michigan and less than 30 percent of the people eligible for care actually received it. Today, that percentage is above 50 percent statewide and “closing in on 60 percent” in Kent County, where Hospice of Michigan serves about 200 adult and pediatric patients daily, Hillary said.

Hospice of Michigan was selected as the finalist in the 2015 MiBiz Best-Managed Nonprofit Awards in the more than $3 Million category.

There are also now more than 135 hospice care providers in the state. Hospice of Michigan is the largest provider, growing over the years as hospice care became a mainstay in the health care continuum after gaining greater awareness and acceptance, both among families and physicians. The largest referral source to Hospice of Michigan is “when a family member picks up the phone and calls us,” she said.

Operating on an annual budget of about $65 million, and targeting an annual margin of 2 percent to 5 percent, Hospice of Michigan generates about 80 percent of its revenue through reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid, another 15 percent through payments from private health insurers, and the rest from philanthropy.

Over the years, Hospice of Michigan has developed programs specifically for the most vulnerable and underserved patient populations such as veterans, children and the Hispanic community.

A pediatric palliative and hospice care program formed 20 years ago in Grand Rapids with Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital is now expanding statewide with the support of a major contribution received this fall from a benefactor in the Detroit area.

“It was pure generosity and this is a case where we had always wanted to do this. This was a case where the donor actually pushed us to say, ‘Why wait? Let’s do it right now,’” Hillary said.

Finalist: More than $3M
Mission: To serve anyone who needs and seeks end-of-life care regardless of age, diagnosis or ability to pay.
Service area: 56 counties in the Lower Peninsula
Executive director: Marcie Hillary
Number of employees: 525 statewide, 75 in the Grand Rapids area
Annual budget: $65 million statewide, about $10 million of which is for operations in the Grand Rapids area
Best practices for management: Using technology whenever it can to provide patient care and access. Two years ago, it began providing additional training to hospice aides and equipped them with smartphones and tablets. A hospice nurse then monitors four aides and guides patient care. This enabled a care provider to spend more time at a patient’s bedside and with the family while maintaining regular contact with a nurse, increased the organization’s capacity to serve more patients, and generated a “huge” cost savings while maintaining high patient satisfaction scores, Hillary said.

• Jane McNamara (chair), Green Path Inc., Farmington Hills
• Mark Drumheller (vice chair), Performance Management Resources, Ada
• Mark Kinsler (secretary/treasurer), Trendway Inc., Holland
• Sandy Linden (immediate past chair), Professional Parent Care, Southfield
• Lawrence Bos, Sr., Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, Grand Rapids
• Ruthann Brintnall, Ph.D., Grand Valley State University
• Andrew Broder, Payne Broder & Fossee PC, Bingham Farms
• Robert Cahill, Hospice of Michigan, Detroit
• Brian Connolly, Oakwood Healthcare Inc., Dearborn
• Gerald Fitzgerald, Oakwood Foundation (retired), Dearborn
• Justin Hiller, Hillers Market, Southfield
• Kurt Ludlow, Amway, Ada
• Dr. John Maurer, Grand Valley Internal Medicine Specialists, Grand Rapids
• Philip McCorkle, Jr., Mercy Health Saint Mary’s (retired), Grand Rapids
• The Honorable Stephen Murphy III, U.S. District Court Judge, Detroit
• Allan Nachman, Butzel Long, Bloomfield Hills
• Dr. Khan Nedd, Infusion Associates, Grand Rapids
• Michael Salter, Millennium Medical/Surgical Foot Specialists, Rochester and Southfield
• Mary Sanders, Gaylord
• Judith Trepeck, The Trepeck Group, West Bloomfield
• Janice Whitehouse, Whitehouse Consulting LLC, Northville

Read 3059 times Last modified on Monday, 23 November 2015 11:39

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