PeaceHealth to challenge rivals bid for hospice

first_imgThe nonprofit owner of Clark County’s only inpatient hospice care center plans to challenge an application by nonprofit Community Home Health & Hospice to build a second hospice facility in the county.Executives with Vancouver’s PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center contend the county’s population wouldn’t support a second hospice center. The hospital’s Ray Hickey Hospice House has been under capacity since its debut in 2004, according to PeaceHealth statistics.That’s a concern because hospice centers rely heavily on donations and Medicare reimbursements to stay in operation, said some local gerontology experts. “It’s competition in a world where money is already tight,” said Gail Haskett, a Vancouver gerontologist and member of the State Council on Aging. “We have no idea if Medicare is going to continue to fund hospice in the way it has.”Longview-based Community Home Health & Hospice executives maintain that the county offers enough patients for two centers. CEO Greg Pang pointed out that the county’s 70-plus population is expected to double by 2030, according to the state Office of Financial Management. The demand for services such as hospice and long-term care are expected to grown in tandem, Pang said.“I don’t think this is a zero-sum game where one loses and other wins,” Pang said. “I think both hospice centers are vital.”last_img

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