Munson Hospice is now the only hospice allowed to offer patient care inside Munson Medical Center in Traverse City. The change was made November first.
President of Home Health Shari Wilson says patients served by other area hospice providers will no longer enter the hospital for in-patient care.
“If they made the determination that patient needed general in-patient hospice care, they would know that they need to transfer that patient to a skilled-nursing facility that they have a contract with,” says Wilson. Wilson says Munson would like people to chose Munson's hospice services. But she also says the decision does not limit patient choice, and that a tiny fraction of hospice services are done in the hospital or another in-paitient setting.
Wilson says the change was made for financial reasons, and not because of concerns about care from other area hospice providers. There is a similar policy in place at Sparrow Health System based in Lansing.
Leaders of Hospice of Michigan say they were stunned by the decision. Cathy Klemish of Hospice of Michigan says the organization’s patients will have to make a choice at a vulnerable time.
“If they want to go to the hospital, we would have to sign them off of our services and have Munson Hospice provide care for them while they’re at the hospital,” she says.