Are you looking for the best hospice companies to work for? If YES, here are 6 hospice companies to work for.
In the United States, there are people who are eager to work in a hospice. It may be because a person has watched someone they love benefit from hospice care. Or they may recognize that their natural gift is to aid individuals and people who require a great deal of compassion, support, and care.
Individuals who work in hospice understand that they will say goodbye to each person they serve. Hospice is a special part of a person’s journey, and the hospice team will care for each patient until they breathe their last. Owing to the changing needs of hospice patients, communication, patience, and compassion are important traits to acquire as a hospice professional. Not every person is designed to work with hospice patients.
However, if your heart’s desire is to work with patients and families as they go through this precious and sometimes challenging journey, your support, knowledge, and compassion will bless each patient you meet.
With a growing aging population, the need for hospice care is expected to increase, which entails that job opportunities in the field will grow exponentially. There are more than 4,300 hospice care agencies in the United States, each of varying sizes.
Understandably, the sheer number can make selecting a hospice organization to work for very daunting. Nonetheless, here are the top hospice companies in the United States.
Best Hospice Companies to Work for
Although VITAS Healthcare operates in only 14 states and the District of Columbia, the company boasts of the largest market share of all hospice organizations. For 2019, VITAS Healthcare had 4.5 percent of the national hospice market share.
According to the reports, the company has been in operation since 1978 and employs over 11,300 professionals that care for more than 18,500 patients on a daily basis.
VITAS also provides both at-home and inpatient hospice care. Its website lists a variety of services, both for hospice patients and their families. These include 24/7 telecare services through the organization’s Care Connection Center, which is staffed with licensed clinicians who can respond to around-the-clock requests for information and consultations.
It also offers respite care for caregivers, home medical equipment arrangements, and an “intensive comfort care” program where a hospice team member can remain in a person’s home for 24 continuous hours when a patient is experiencing a heightened level of health needs.
Other specialized programs VITAS Healthcare offers include specialized training in caring for those of the Jewish faith, music therapy, veterans care, and Paw Pals pet visits from hospice pet volunteers.
This is a Birmingham, Alabama-based company established in 1984. Note that the company underwent a name change in 2018 (it was formerly called HealthSouth). Encompass Health presently offers services in 39 states as well as Puerto Rico and has 83 hospice locations.
The company does not, however, offer services in Alaska, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Vermont, Washington, or Wisconsin.
Also note that they provide hospice services to those with a variety of end-stage conditions, including dementia, cancer, liver disease, kidney disease, and more. Its care team includes a medical director, doctors, registered nurses, hospice aides, social workers, volunteers, and more.
According to reports, Encompass Health remains the best overall for hospice because several trusted national organizations recognize it as a top-performing hospice. Strategic Healthcare Programs (SHP), one of the largest benchmark organizations for hospice in the nation, awarded Encompass Health’s Hospice in Rainbow City, Alabama, its Top Performing Agency award for 2019.
This is a hospice service company located in Nashville, Tennessee, that opened its first hospice in 1979. Note that it has 159 locations in 29 states. It is a Medicare- and Medicaid-approved hospice and also accepts private insurance plans. It also features information on its website about how hospice benefits work with Medicare Advantage.
Compassus provides various patient support programs that make it stand out for helping grieving families. This list includes Life Review, in which volunteers help a hospice patient create a DVD or journal for families as a keepsake.
It also provides a Veteran to Veteran program, where military veterans function as companions or visitors to a hospice patient, pet therapy (varies by location), and a Bereavement Program where volunteers call friends or loved ones after the passing of a hospice patient to check in on them and their well-being.
The company also offers virtual grief support groups and specialized support programs for adolescents and teenagers going through a loss. The Compassus website is best navigated by putting in your ZIP code to acquire information on local branches.
It’s challenging to find information about services, payments, and other basic information on the national page of the site. It does have a toll-free referral phone line that’s continuously staffed if you prefer to find your local branch in this manner.
This is a large post-acute care company that operates long-term care hospitals and also offers hospice services. This company is located in Louisville, Kentucky, and was established in 1985. According to reports, in 2019 Kindred was the second biggest hospice provider with 3.13 percent of the hospice market share.
However, Kindred’s website does not list the states its hospice programs serve—instead; you must search by ZIP code to see if it serves your location. Some of its inpatient hospice locations include Austin, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia; Detroit, Michigan; and the Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, Virginia metropolitan area.
Kindred has numerous specialty hospice services listed on its website, including those for veterans, memory care programs, and a cardiopulmonary program for those with an end-stage heart or lung condition.
On the Medicare Hospice Compare site, Kindred’s programs performed steadily higher than the national averages, including 100 percent compliance on patients who received at least one visit from a care provider in the last three days of life (the national average is 82.4 percent).
This is the parent company for its hospice division, Heartland. Note that these divisions provide care in 26 states. HCR ManorCare was established in 1959 in Toledo, Ohio, but did not open hospice services until decades later. According to reports, it is the third top hospice provider in the country, with 2.32 percent of the hospice market share.
A good number of hospice locations may be called HCR ManorCare while others are called Heartland Hospice, which can lead to some confusion.
Note that this comp may offer a variety of services for hospice patients and families, including pain management, spiritual support, medications, medical equipment, patient education, and bereavement services. One specific offering is its “Tuck-In Calls” program, in which a member of the staff calls the patient or a family member in the evenings to check on their day and ensure everything is in order for their evening, comfort, and rest.
On the financial side, this company has a Heartland Hospice Memorial Fund, designed to relieve the financial burden that can come with caring for a terminally ill family member. According to HCR ManorCare’s website, it has made more than 5,000 grants to help pay for household bills, travel costs, and even sponsoring children to attend grief camps to help in their bereavement process.
Both HCR ManorCare and Heartland Hospice received awards from Strategic Healthcare Programs (SHP) for their services. Five of their facilities were named in the top 5 percent to 20 percent of hospice caregiver satisfaction surveys.
This company is more renowned as the fourth-largest hospice services company in the United States. The company was founded in 1982 and has inpatient hospice locations and offers home hospice services. According to its website, it is a Medicare-approved hospice provider, and Medicare covers 100 percent of hospice costs with Amedisys.
Amedisys offers hospice care in 38 states, excluding Alaska, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, Vermont, and Wyoming. However, it does not list a nationwide customer service line on the website, so you’ll have to leverage its website to search for individual locations and contact information.
In 2019, 111 Amedisys agencies were awarded “SHPBest Awards” from Strategic Health Programs, one of the nation’s biggest hospice benchmark associations. Three Amedisys hospice centers received the SHP “Premier Performer” award for ranking in the top 5 percent for quality and patient satisfaction.
Amedisys also outperforms the national average in several Medicare Hospice Item Set (HIS) measures, including high marks for their intake assessment and for patients receiving a visit from a licensed healthcare professional within the last three days of life.
If you are exploring the possibility of a career in hospice care, you might question the value you can add to someone’s life. However, the hospice care field is comprised of individuals with a myriad of backgrounds, educations, and experiences.
There are several different roles that comprise the hospice team and specific requirements for each one and above are some of the best companies to work for.