Hospice Leaders Explore Affiliation

Hospice & Community Care, Lancaster, and Hospice of Central PA, Harrisburg, in an effort to strengthen their ability to provide the highest quality care for patients and families, have announced plans to explore an affiliation. A partnering of the two leading hospice providers in central Pennsylvania would create a combined footprint to include Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, Schuylkill and York counties, and parts of Berks, Chester, and Franklin counties and position them as the largest hospice and palliative care provider in the state.

“Affiliating our two organizations is a step forward in achieving a shared ambition of sustainable palliative and end-of-life care, and bereavement services, for patients and families in the communities that we serve,” said Steve Knaub, President and CEO, Hospice & Community Care. “Over the next several months, our organizations’ leadership will be working on a plan with the goal of a formal relationship on January 1, 2024.”

Along with expanding care and reaching a growing aging population, a goal of the affiliation would be to improve care innovation while also improving quality of care and family experiences of care.

“Hospice & Community Care and Hospice of Central PA have the opportunity to dramatically strengthen our combined not-for-profit missions,” said Gil Brown, President and CEO, Hospice of Central PA. “Together we have the ability to provide the best possible outcomes for patients, families and our dedicated team members.”

The number of not-for-profit hospice affiliations has increased nationwide in an effort to preserve the mission of providing high quality end-of-life care regardless of a patient’s ability to pay. Affiliation would further help the two central Pennsylvania hospice providers to realize cost savings regarding purchased services such as pharmacy, medical supplies, durable medical equipment and employee benefits. It would also provide the ability to work with more private insurances and Medicare Advantage plans, and increase access to talent in hiring.

Hospice of Central PA and Hospice & Community Care, two of only a few nonprofit hospices in the region, would each retain their names and locations. Hospice of Central PA has administrative offices in Harrisburg and Pottsville as well as a six-bed hospice house, Carolyn’s House, located on Linglestown Road in Harrisburg. Hospice & Community Care maintains administrative offices in Lancaster and York. The Bob Fryer & Family Inpatient Center, its 24-bed inpatient and residential center, and its Pathways Center for Grief & Loss, are located on Old Harrisburg Pike near Mount Joy.

The two hospice providers would further benefit from strong, long-standing relationships with the major health systems in the region including Lehigh Valley Network, Penn Medicine/Lancaster General Health, Penn State Health, UPMC and WellSpan Health.

“We remain committed to the meaningful relationships that we have developed with all health care providers and long-term care communities and will continue to work collaboratively to best serve patients throughout southcentral Pennsylvania, said Gil Brown.”

Hospice & Community Care and Hospice of Central PA have each been serving their communities for more than 40 years and have mutually benefited from a shared philosophy of care. Each program will maintain its brand and community relationships to raise funds which are used to support patients and families in the communities they serve, ensuring that local resources directly benefit local programs.

“Our vision is that every person living in our community will receive the care and compassion they need while coping with serious illness, facing end-of-life, or experiencing the loss of a loved one,” said Steve Knaub. “Providing care and support for people in the communities that we serve is our highest priority and we are committed to ensuring seamless care for our patients and their families.”