Chautauqua Hospice and Palliative Care (CHPC) is celebrating its 35th year of “intensive caring” for our friends and neighbors at the end of their lives. If the letters we receive in the mail or the quality measures that we expect to be judged by in 2017 are reliable indicators, we are doing an excellent job. But we remain vulnerable to an unfavorable reimbursement climate, lean staffing levels and a rapidly-changing regulatory environment. We need your financial support.
The Federal government has only given us a 2.7% raise in reimbursement since 2012, while healthcare inflation has raised our costs at that rate for each of the last four years. In addition, we don’t expect the Federal government to recognize and reimburse the tremendous cost savings and improved care of our palliative care program for several more years. So while we have a strong balance sheet, our margins are precarious.
In this challenging fiscal environment, we are still advancing our mission by negotiating with private insurers and marketing our palliative care directly to large employers. Volunteers are being engaged more than ever to stretch our resources. We are educating other health providers and the faith community about hospice, palliative care and advance directives, as well as collaborating whenever possible to achieve cost savings. And when we see an unfilled need, such as properly recognizing our patients who have served in our military with a pinning ceremony, we address it.
Despite our efforts, too many of our neighbors do not receive the end-of-life care they deserve. Do you realize that only about 30% of eligible Chautauqua County residents receive our hospice care each year? Too many of our neighbors come into our care only to die in a day or two! Too many people tell us, “I wish we hadn’t waited to call you,” or “If only we had known how much help you could be.” Too many people think that calling us means giving up, when it means exactly the opposite.
We are your independent, not-for-profit healthcare provider delivering invaluable care with many extras when families are most vulnerable. You can be the reliable partner that we need to allow us to continue to provide outstanding care. Won’t you consider helping ensure the next 35 years of excellent end-of-life care by contributing to this appeal?
Shauna Anderson President and CEO