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New service offered locally for patients with complex diagnoses

Dayton Daily News - 12/28/2019

Dec. 28--While Ohio's Hospice is known for providing end-of-life care, its new center in Centerville is focused on creating a medical home for people with complex medical conditions.

Ohio's Hospice will open its new Pure Healthcare center the first week of January, caring for patients with complex illnesses and significant health needs such as Alzheimer's or dementia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart disease, or cancer.

The $10 million center on Miami Valley Hospital South's campus is a new type of service that Ohio's Hospice has never had before. That's because the new center will create a one-stop shop for patients with complicated health needs by bringing together care management, rehabilitation, and social services to ensure a more holistic patient experience.

A new law that went into effect earlier this year has paved the way for this type of holistic service hub in Ohio, which is a brand new model for Ohio's Hospice.

The center off Wilmington Pike is supposed to make it easier for patients and caregivers to get the services they need in one coordinated place under one roof instead of have to travel between different offices and keep track of all the information from the different providers.

"We really see this is sort of a cornerstone of a community based care management model where we're able to engage folks around chronic conditions earlier on in the disease process," said Anthony Evans, president of Pure Healthcare.

About 30 to 40 people will work at the three-story, 36,000-square-foot center when it is fully operational. Ohio's Hospice wants to work with other hospitals and expand this model of care to other parts of Ohio.

Premier Health contributed the land to the project and is available for lab and imaging services and other more advanced treatment than PureHealthcare has, though patients can go to any facility for these services.

Patients who are seriously and chronically ill face challenges making informed medical decisions, understanding what their choices are, managing symptoms, and juggling their different providers and medications.

Some of the services the new center will have include help creating a care plan and coordinating with different providers, behavioral health services, community service coordination, massage therapy, music and art therapy, meal planning around their medical needs, and occupational therapy.

For example, Pure Healthcare has a test kitchen where people can learn to cook around their diets and socialize. Then around the corner there's an area built out similar to an apartment where patients and family caregivers can get help learning how to do every day tasks like getting out of bed and getting in and out of the bathtub as the patient's physical abilities change.

Dr. Chirag Patel, Chief Medical Officer for Pure Healthcare, said before the center, they have had to send patients elsewhere for physical and occupational therapy as the patients start to have functional issues and need to learn to use transfer systems and assertive devices.

"Historically we have to farm that out to somebody else and that's just another step in a very complicated health care journey. And with how complex health care has become, that feedback often gets lost getting back to me as a provider," Patel said.

The new center is possible because of a new Ohio law, House Bill 286, which went into effect this March, which expanded the ability of hospice's to provide palliative care to non-hospice patients, particularly in an inpatient setting.

The center will also have 18 beds for patients who need more intensive care than a shorter visit but don't have serious enough needs to have to go check in to a hospital.

"This is a great middle of the continuum for them to access," Evans said. "They could come in here, Dr. Patel and the team can assess them. If it's something that we can resolve in a few hours to break a symptom cycle with hydration or other interventions, they can go home that same day. It's about short term stabilization."

Evans said they are interested in scaling the model to serve more patients here and to bring the model to their places in Ohio.

"We hope to use this as this facility as a platform for community based model where we're touching hundreds or even thousands of folks in the community ultimately, or even across the state of Ohio," Evans said.

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(c)2019 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio)

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