A Letter from our CEO: A Response to the ProPublica Hospice Article
ProPublica and The New Yorker recently published an article, How Hospice Became a For-Profit Hustle, outlining multiple instances of fraud and malfeasance targeting the Medicare hospice benefit. The story illustrates how patient care can suffer when lackluster providers are able to manipulate the original intent and purpose of the benefit. We at Community Healthcare of Texas, along with our colleagues at the National Partnership for Healthcare and Hospice Innovation (NPHI), are saddened by these practices and welcome a much-needed conversation around the incentives driving bad actors into end-of-life care. However, the activity described in this piece does not reflect the care we provide or the mission that we’ve dedicated ourselves to advancing.
Community Healthcare of Texas is a community-based, independently owned, non-profit, end-of-life care provider. We have served this community for over 26 years and have always been guided by our mission to deliver high-quality compassionate care to anyone at any time, all to ensure patients and their families experience dignified and respectful care in their most challenging moments. Unfortunately, there is a growing problem of fraudulent and harmful practices by some providers. These practices must be identified and eliminated wherever possible. However, the practices outlined in the article are not indicative of Community Healthcare of Texas. Instead, we seek to deliver the full interdisciplinary hospice care model while striving to respect the choices, wishes, and desires of our patients and their families.
Community Healthcare of Texas provides the full hospice experience, including services above and beyond those required by the benefit. In 2021, we cared for over 3900 patients and their families, provided $1 million in charitable care, and provided grief support, at no cost, to more than 4700 people – all to ensure each person in our community had access to the care they needed.
Recent survey research, commissioned by NPHI and conducted by SIR and Emergence Creative entitled, Views and Experiences of Aging & End-of-Life Care in the US, shows that only 31% of people trust the healthcare system. The research found, however, that hospice stands out as care that patients and their families still trust and value. We know that trust is fragile and earned over time. Community Healthcare of Texas is committed to maintaining your trust through continued exemplary service to our community.
We look forward to continuing to work with our colleagues and partners at the local, state, and national levels to ensure that opportunities for fraud and abuse in hospice are eliminated. All the while, we intend to continue serving as an example for what hospice can and should be for those in need.
We thank you for your continued support and wish you all the best.
Community Healthcare of Texas