By Monessa Guilfoil
Palliative Care Services is a subsidiary of the not-for-profit Hospice of Chattanooga. PCS has a free standing clinic founded by Dr. Melvin to, “serve the needs of patients who have a chronic, long term illness,” and provide for them, “currative and comfort measures for extended periods.” It’s about caring for the “whole patient,” she says.
Hospice of Chattanooga is soon to open a 16-bed, In-patient Care Facility which will be the first facility of it’s kind to provide continuous Hospice Care in the Tennessee Valley. Hospice of Chattanooga is inviting the public to attend the open house for this new facility at 2626 Walker Road in East Brainerd on March 21st between 2:00 and 3:30PM.
“Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia has needed an in-patient facility like this for a very long time,” said Rev. L. Clark Taylor., C.E.O. of Hospice of Chattanooga. He continues, “This facility will allow us to better serve hospice patients who are no longer appropriate for the hospital, but still need a higher level of care than we could provide in their own home.”
The following is from the Hospice of Chattanooga’s blog:
The number of people seeking end of life care has grown exponentially over the last 25 years. In 1982, only 25,000 Americans chose to spend their final days at home or in a nursing care facility rather than pursue aggressive treatments. The Los Angeles Times reports that number jumped to a staggering 1.5 million in 2008. With the baby boomer generation moving into the Medicare program, the number of patients in need of hospice care will undoubtedly keep growing.
The dramatic increase in patients seeking end of life care comes at a time when Congress is considering cutting the Medicare hospice benefit dramatically. Under the Senate’s proposed healthcare reform bill, hospice providers nationwide would lose 17 percent of their Medicare funding by 2017. If the bill is passed and signed into law, the funding reduction will hurt not-for-profit hospices, like Hospice of Chattanooga, most. Our mission is to provide excellent end of life care for anyone who needs it, even if they don’t have Medicare or private insurance to pay for hospice services. In other words, Hospice of Chattanooga would care for a growing number of patients with less money than ever.
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