ACN and Hospice of the Valley Team Up for ‘MediCaring’

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Collaboration Expands Choices to Elderly Facing Serious Illnesses: Arizona Care Network Teams Up with Hospice of the Valley for ‘MediCaring’

PHOENIX (April 18, 2018) – Arizona Care Network and Hospice of the Valley have partnered to offer ACN’s 40,000 Medicare beneficiaries greater choices for care when facing a serious illness.

MediCaring is a federally-funded program that enables seriously ill individuals to receive services from Hospice of the Valley without giving up their curative treatments. Under current Medicare rules, Medicare beneficiaries must stop curative care with their primary care doctor and specialists when they sign up to receive hospice care.

“Many of our patients want to continue treatment for their illness but would benefit from the exceptional comfort care Hospice of the Valley delivers,” said Dr. David Hanekom, CEO of Arizona Care Network. “The Medicaring program is a new model that respects patient choice and supports the providers’ plan of care.” Ultimately, the model is designed to improve the quality of care, manage costs and reduce hospital stays through close collaboration with ACN’s physicians.

Participation is open to traditional Medicare beneficiaries who live in their homes (vs. a group or nursing home) with advanced cancers, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure and HIV/AIDS. Patients can continue to see their specialty physicians, continue chemotherapy or radiation, dialysis, rehabilitation or short-term facility stays. Once enrolled, participants can participate in the MediCaring program for three years or elect to transition to hospice exclusively at any time.

“We are so pleased to partner with one of the most highly regarded organizations in our community to deliver best-in-class, compassionate care to Medicare patients and their families,” said Hanekom. “The collaboration between Hospice of the Valley and Arizona Care Network providers will improve the care we deliver to our Medicare members and help support their families and caregivers.” 

Nationally, the project is called Medicare Care Choices and is funded through a grant from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Hospice of the Valley is the only Arizona hospice selected to participate in the program and launched services in January.

Through the project, which is expected to serve up to 150,000 people nationwide, CMS aims to find out if beneficiaries would elect to receive palliative and supportive care services typically provided by a hospice if they could continue to seek curative care from their providers. CMS also will study whether access to such services will result in improved quality of care, patient and family satisfaction, and whether there are any effects on the use of curative services.

“We believe that the comprehensive physical, emotional, and spiritual care that clinicians and volunteers provide to patients and their families in their own homes will reduce pain and other symptoms,” according to Debbie Shumway, Hospice of the Valley’s executive director. “Hospice care – available around the clock – also prevents unnecessary hospitalizations and improves quality of life for those struggling with advanced disease.”

For more information, call ACN’s N Compass Concierge Line at 602.406.7226.

About Arizona Care Network

Arizona Care Network is a physician-led and -governed accountable care organization that improves healthcare and reduces costs by actively managing care for its patients. ACN is a partnership between Dignity Health Arizona and Abrazo Community Health Network and includes hundreds of independent providers. ACN also is affiliated with Phoenix Children’s Care Network to offer parents access to Arizona’s leading pediatric health system.

The network is comprised of more than 5,500 primary care and specialty physicians providing a broad range of clinical and care coordination services to adult and pediatric patients in Maricopa and Pinal counties.

About Hospice of the Valley

Hospice of the Valley (HOV) is a not-for-profit provider of hospice and palliative care. The agency served more than 18,000 people last year in Maricopa and northern Pinal counties. Founded in 1977, HOV supports patients and families and relieves suffering in all realms – physical, emotional and spiritual. Most services are delivered in patients’ homes or place of residence. Ten inpatient hospice homes are available Valleywide for patients who need round-the-clock, short-term inpatient care.

The agency also offers a wide array of services that go beyond hospice care. Palliative care programs provide education and case management for people with serious, chronic illness who are not ready for hospice. Dementia care is a specialty, with services for people at all stages of the disease. Children with life-limiting illnesses are cared for at home and in partnership with Ryan House. After a death, grief support is available to all, regardless of whether person who died was a patient of Hospice of the Valley. Information: www.hov.org.

A Physician and Health System Collaboration